Have you ever wondered if you could hurt your neck sleeping without a pillow? Well, you may be shocked to know the answer is not always that easy.
My husband used to chronically steal my pillows. I mean, every single morning I would wake up and feel like hot garbage thanks to him. But was it really because of the pillow? It turns out, maybe not so much.
We all need a good night rest, especially those of us that have children, and sleeping without a pillow may be more helpful than you know.
What Is A Pillow?
Pillows used to come in rectangular shape only, and now you can buy pretty much any form you can imagine. We use pillows for resting our heads, support, and as a weapon at slumber parties.
Some people use pillows for decorating their beds and couches, but the primary purpose is to support your head while you sleep.
Others, such as the Chinese, use a pillow to put herbal remedies inside because they think it helps cure disease.
What Are Pillows Made Of?
Pillows are made of many materials such as cotton, synthetic polyester, cotton-polyester, feathers, and other materials.
History has shown the Egyptians would buy lavish pillows for the dead to rest their heads, but while alive they would sleep on stone pillows to prevent bugs from crawling into their mouth, nose, and ears.
The Chinese would use wood, ceramic, and leather to make their pillows. The wealthier Greek culture would buy embroidered cushions and bolsters to rest their head and feet.
Why Do We Use Pillows?
Now that we have improved our technology, we can make many different uses for pillows.
If you have the proper pillow, it can be used for neck alignment and support to your cervical spine while sleeping.
Decorative pillows are just that, to decorate the area in which you lay them, but many people also use them to sleep.
Breastfeeding mothers use a type of pillow to help support the baby while they are feeding. Now, there are even different types of pillows used for therapy purposes.
Do You Need To Sleep With A Pillow?
Are you one of those people that can't sleep well without a pillow? You may even use two or three pillows, thinking that is okay.
This may shock you, but pillows really aren't necessary.
Shocking, I know.
Some studies have found that pillows actually have no sleep benefits and are mainly just a personal desire. If you sleep without a pillow, you are helping to extend your back, and you will lay in a more natural posture.
Sleeping without a pillow is perfectly okay and often recommended. If you feel you need your head lifted a little you can always use your arm, like the cavemen before us. However, if your doctor recommends a pillow, please listen to them.
If you want a pillow, that's cool, just remember there are different types for different people. It all comes down to making sure you have the proper mattress and pillow that fits for your style of sleeping.
How Do I Buy The Right Pillow?
Well first, it depends on how you sleep on your mattress to know which pillow you should buy.
If you are a side sleeper, then you should buy a pillow that is as thick as the distance between your ear and outside shoulder.
A back sleeper should buy a flatter pillow that keeps their neck aligned, to reduce pain.
As for stomach sleepers, it is best not to use a pillow, but if you must have one then buy a soft pillow.
Believe it or not, you should replace an average pillow every 18 months, and memory foam pillows within three years. After that time, you are not getting the support you need and may be losing sleep because the pillow is worn out.
Types Of Pillows
We all sleep in different positions, such as: on your back, stomach, or sides. The way you choose to sleep is entirely up to you, but studies have found certain pillows are better to use for your sleeping position.
Also, it depends on your bed, and if your mattress is too soft, you may need to add memory foam to help align your back.
If you sleep on your back, a thick contouring pillow is suggested as well as a small pillow underneath your knee or lumbar spine to relieve strain on your spine.
Did you know sleeping on your stomach is the unhealthiest way to sleep? While you may feel comfortable, you lay your head to one side, which puts your neck out of alignment. Sleep experts say it is better to sleep with no pillow at all, but if you must use one, buying a thin pillow is better.
Side sleepers have been found to have the second-best healthiest sleep position. However, if they do not use the proper pillow, it will do just as much damage as sleeping on your stomach. Side sleepers need to have an appropriate pillow that flows with their mattress to keep their spine straight.
Benefits of Using A Pillow
Some of us buy pillows for the looks, not knowing if it will help or hurt our body. Pillow benefits are not just for your neck and back but also your posture.
While sleeping, a pillow can help keep your spine in a proper position and help support the natural curve of your neck.
When you sleep, the muscles and ligaments of your back relax and heal themselves, so having the correct pillow is a must.
Having a pillow that costs a little more to help you sleep well, is totally worth it, don't you think?
Sleeping Without A Pillow: Benefits Of Not Using a Pillow
Did you know your pillow could be causing you to have acne issues? Yes, you heard me correctly. You are laying your face on the same pillow every night, which could carry dust, bacteria, and dirt. Your face also requires air to flow over it; without it, you cause your skin to become oily.
I don't know anyone that washes their pillow every day, do you? So, we all can imagine what's on our pillow every time our face touches it.
Your body needs rest after a long day, and sleeping without a pillow can help with that, by allowing your back to extend into its natural position. So, if you fall asleep without your pillow, you will be just fine.
The Reality Of Sleeping Without A Pillow
It truly all comes down to how you sleep, but we do know that sleeping without a pillow is okay.
When buying a pillow, it is a good idea to buy the proper one for how you sleep and one that aligns with your bed. Since we spend so much time every day sleeping, don't you think that buying the best pillow to help you sleep is a great idea?
People have been using pillows for a long time, so you don't have to sleep without your pillow but make sure you replace your pillow as often as needed. Also washing it will help in the long run and not cause your face to become blackhead headquarters.
Let us know in the comment section below whether you use a pillow or not, and how often you replace them.