A Fresh Look at Sleep and Wrinkles

Dr. David Stoker

The effect of sleep on your appearance is well-documented. We all know that getting enough beauty sleep is one of the keys to maintaining a fresh, youthful face. What many people don’t know is that as you sleep, you may be developing wrinkles. The problem stems not from how much sleep you’re getting, but rather how you’re sleeping. The problem comes from the position you sleep in. And for those of you who like to sleep on your side, the news isn’t good.

Dermatologists recognize that certain facial wrinkles, sometimes called sleep lines, develop as a result of your sleeping position. People who sleep on their sides or face down in the pillow put pressure on their faces throughout the night. Over time, this pressure causes wrinkles to form, much like your facial expressions cause lines over the years. The best way to remedy this situation is to become a back sleeper. But many patients find this change in position difficult to get used to. For those who want to make a change, here are some tips to ease your transition:

  • Practice. Every day, spend 10 to 15 minutes in bed on your back. This will help you cultivate muscle memory and get used to sleeping in this position. Then, when you go to bed, your body will be more inclined to keep this posture.
  • Get a memory foam pillow. These comfortable little devices cradle your head and conform to fit its shape. This encourages you to stay in the same position throughout the night.
  • Use a pillow behind your knees. Some people find that the support makes lying on your back more comfortable.

Taking these simple steps will help you sleep restfully, on your back, throughout the night. And without the constant pressure on your face, you should be able to prevent the formation of sleep wrinkles. Sweet dreams!

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