The average adult spends 30% of their day in bed, sleeping. Could the position in which you sleep, possibly be causing you facial wrinkles? Experts agree that it can! Lying on your side (in a fetal position) or on your stomach (with your face flat against your pillow) can both cause additional pressure on your face and therefore, can cause facial wrinkles. Sleeping on your back does not cause any excess pressure to your face and is the best position for sleep.
In the same way that a ‘stress line’ can form on one’s forehead, based upon years of furrowing the brow in the exact same manner (even without knowing it) – facial lines can appear with repeated pressure of night sleeping, with the face pressed up against the pillow. This is particularly true if someone sleeps on the same side every single night or on their stomach every night. This is because pressure causes the collagen to be degraded, and the collagen is what keeps our skin plump and firm. A loss of collagen causes the skin to sag and results in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Of course, when we arise in the mornings, these lines and wrinkles usually, gradually disappear throughout the day. However, as we age it takes longer-and-longer for fine lines and wrinkles to disappear, because we have less collagen, and eventually some wrinkles remain indefinitely.
In order to avoid the formation of wrinkles during sleep, you should always sleep on your back. This is the best posture for the body during sleep. Additionally, the amount of moisture in your bedroom can affect the skin. Maintaining enough moisture in the bedroom helps keep your skin from becoming excessively dry, resulting in wrinkles. Think about how quickly our hands become cracked and wrinkled when the weather is very dry and we forget to apply hand lotion or chapstick. This also occurs to the face, but more gradually, so it is important to use moisturizers on your skin.
Always washing the face at night, and applying a moisturizer to help lock in the moisture, helps to prevent the formation of wrinkles. Body and hand lotions, as well as facial moisturizers should be applied when the face, body, and hands are slightly damp – after washing, simply pat down with a towel to remove the excess water. Then, the moisturizers will cause the remaining water to enter the skin pores and keep the skin hydrated. This will also allow you to use less of your lotions and moisturizers.
Heat also causes skin dryness and promotes wrinkles. Most people find that a comfortable temperature to sleep is slightly on the cooler side (~68oF). Thus, in addition to a cooler temperature being better for your skin, to decrease dryness, it also helps promote sounder sleep. If your bedroom is too dry, especially from a room heater, you can use a room humidifier to produce additional moisture.
Using silk or satin pillowcases (as opposed to the common cotton pillowcases) will also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles on the face, especially for those who sleep on their sides or stomachs. Dermatologists suggest washing pillowcases and bed linens weekly, due to the buildup of hair and body oil, natural shedding of skin cells, drool, and bacteria or debris that collects on the body during the daytime. Additionally, experts also suggest replacing your pillow approximately every 3-4 years and your mattress every 8 years. Once pillows and mattresses have degraded over time, they sag and no longer support the posture of the body during sleep. Having a pillow and mattress that support good posture for the body (the curves of the body) helps promote restful sleep.
Therefore, in order to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on your face, try sleeping on your back, keeping your bedroom cool enough and not too dry (humidifier), use moisturizers on your skin, wash your bed linens weekly, and replace your pillow and mattress frequently enough. If you cannot get comfortable sleeping on your back, try investing in a satin or silk pillowcase, which will reduce the friction against your skin from your pillow. Lastly, sleeping at least 7-8 hours per night is very important to help the skin to refresh and rejuvenate.