Pillow is such a simple and familiar accessory that we almost do not think: is it necessary at all? But, meanwhile, there is an opinion that sleep without a pillow is much healthier and more useful. Let’s try to understand how justified this point of view is and whether to give up the elevation under the head once and for all.
What is a pillow for?
The main task of the pillow is to provide a comfortable position and create a support for the head and neck. This elevation allows you to level the slope in the cervical spine, avoid discomfort in the back of the head, shoulder belt.
The pillow is essential while sleeping on the side. It helps prevent a strong blood rush due to a strong tilt of the head, provoking headaches and chronic fatigue. In addition, the right pillow helps to relax the muscles.
Normally, the human spine is curved forward, so it amortizes the head on the principle of spring. The pillow supports a comfortable position in which the neck can relax, gives the necessary support.
Sleep benefit without pillow
However, many people give up the pillow, considering it a healthier option. Indeed, sleep without a pillow has its advantages:
- Protection from back and neck pain – if the pillow does not correspond to the natural bend of the spine, it gradually warp, which leads to functional disorders and the appearance of soreness;
- Preventing inflammation, the appearance of acne – pillowcase is an excellent nutrient environment for bacteria, and change it every day few people think. By the way, hence the high probability of allergies, because pillowcases and pillows accumulate dust;
- Reducing wrinkles – sleeping face in the pillow creates a certain pressure, under the influence of which wrinkles are formed and deepened;
- No pressure on the spine – the lumbar department is relaxed, muscles are restored during night sleep;
- Reducing the load on the internal organs due to the level position of the body.
It would seem that the roller’s abandonment under the head is a solid plus for health. But not everything is so unambiguous. So before you conclude whether it is possible to sleep without a pillow, it is worth studying the negative factors of such sleep.
Why is sleeping without a pillow harmful?
Rejection of the pillow may well be harmful both in terms of sleep quality and in terms of deterioration of well-being:
- Discomfort – many people who are used to the pillow, long sleep without it seems uncomfortable. They intuitively try to put their hand under the head, often wake up. This leads to a decrease in performance and sometimes to various diseases;
- Problems with appearance – to find the prints of the mattress on the face after waking, you need to put under the head at least a thin pillowcase or towel;
- Osteochondrosis – the level position of the body does not allow to fully relaxation the muscles of the neck to relieve the tension accumulated during the day. As a result, in the cartilage between the vertebrae begin dystrophic processes, compressed roots, swelling of the neck. All this contributes to the development of osteochondrosis, the appearance of painful sensations due to the unnatural position of the body;
- Disruption of the circulatory of the brain – according to experts, sleep on a flat surface can disrupt blood flow in the vertebral arteries, including due to muscle clamping;
- Snoring – without a pillow, a person often sleeps, throwing his head. In this position, the tongue is stripping and blocking air access to the airways. This may well cause snoring, even in those who have not experienced such a problem before;
- The inability to sleep on the side – and this position the head is too strongly tilted about the mattress, because of this it too much blood rushes, there are unpleasant pulsating sensations. Then, in the morning, there is usually a headache.
In some situations, sleep without a pillow is categorically not recommended. For example, in the heart failure and congestive phenomena in the lungs, predisposition to ischemic stroke at night under the head must be put on a pillow or roller. Furthermore, it is impossible to sleep on a flat surface with glaucoma – the pressure in the eyes at the same time dangerously increases. When using a pillow, the head is in an elevated position, which helps to reduce eye pressure.
Who can and should sleep without a pillow?
Whether an adult can sleep without a pillow is a question-and-answer. This option can be practiced periodically when you want to change the position of the head during sleep. But when the slightest discomfort, you need to use the pillow again.
The only people who do not have a pillow during the night sleep exactly benefit – it’s very young children. Their spine is designed so that support of the neck in sleep is not required. On the contrary: its absence helps to properly form future curves of the spine, strengthen the cervical muscles.
According to doctors, the best option for a child – sleep without a pillow for up to six months. Then you can put under the head folded diaper and try a flat orthopedic pillow after a year. In general, it is necessary to focus on the baby’s behavior: if he sleeps well without a pillow, does not capricious without reason after awakening, it means that at this stage, from this accessory, it is possible to refuse.
How to choose a pillow
Discomfort and sleep disturbances can be associated with the lack of a pillow and its wrong choice. The basic principle – the accessory is selected individually, taking into account the preferences and habits of the person. Some like a big and soft pillow, and some prefer small hard rollers.
Choosing a pillow, it is worth paying attention to several factors:
- Material – it concerns both pillowcases and filler. Previously, inside the pillows was a feather filler, but now the preferred option is bamboo and silk. They have hypoallergenic properties, do not pose a danger to the respiratory system, take the shape of the body, and do not compress muscles;
- Shape – Rectangular pillows are ideal for sleeping on the back, matching the neck bend, and helping to relax the muscles. Those who prefer sleep on the side should pay attention to the models with a small stock and roller under the neck;
- Size – on average, the size of the pillow should be twice the size of the head. Too large products are uncomfortable for the neck. Too small does not allow to settle comfortably. The most popular size is 50 x 70 cm;
- Height – in the case of osteochondrosis is recommended to use a pillow height of 5-10 cm. Fans to sleep on the stomach need a soft, thin, almost flat pillow;
- Elasticity – quality pillows restore shape after 3-5 seconds after pressing the palm. You can take the accessory around the corner and shake it. If one side is half empty, there is not enough filler inside. During sleep, the head will fail on such a pillow, which will create difficulties for free breathing.
Do not forget about the care of the pillow. This accessory needs periodic cleaning, which can be done independently or entrusted to professionals.
Healthy sleep: with or without a pillow?
For a quality night’s rest, the body should be in the right and comfortable position. That’s why the pillows were created. However, despite claims about the benefits of sleep without such an accessory, giving up a pillow is not always useful and can even harm. If you want, you can try to sleep on a flat surface, but the rest of the time, it is better to use a pillow, picking it up, considering their personal preferences and experts’ recommendations.