Getting enough quality sleep is crucial to looking and feeling good — it’s called “beauty sleep” for a reason — but sleep has recently come under fire for possibly contributing to wrinkles. Here, Los Angeles eye surgeons at Eyesthetica discusses the claim that certain sleep positions lead to more wrinkles, shares our thoughts and explains what to do about pesky lines.

The Claim: Sleeping On Your Side Causes More Wrinkles

There has been some concern lately that sleeping in a position that pushes the face against the pillow (i.e., laying in the fetal position) continually creases the skin and leads to more wrinkles. This has many people worried because, according to a British sleep study, 41 percent of people sleep on their sides. The concern is that repeatedly pleating the skin leaves behind permanent marks.

The Truth behind Wrinkles

The cause of the wrinkles depends on what kind of wrinkle it is. Static wrinkles occur due to factors like genetics, sun damage and (most notably) the natural effects of the aging process that cause the skin to lose elasticity. Dynamic wrinkles are caused by repeatedly making facial expressions, like smiling and frowning, where the skin creases.

While there are some doctors that believe sleeping in a position that continually folds the skin (like scrunching the face against a coarse pillow) leads to wrinkles, the consensus is that sleep position won’t significantly contribute to wrinkles, and changing sleep position won’t prevent wrinkles. Because of aging, sun exposure and natural facial expressions, wrinkles and lines are virtually unavoidable.

What Can Be Done about Wrinkles?

Just because wrinkles are unavoidable does not mean you have to live with them. Practices like Eyesthetica offer a few different ways to minimize the appearance of these lines.

Dynamic wrinkles that form from repeated facial expressions can be smoothed with Botox injections, which temporarily relax the underlying muscle. Resurfacing lasers and peels can help slough off the outer layers of damaged, wrinkled skin. For more severe wrinkles, the pleats in the skin may need to be removed surgically with facelift.

Just as the skin loses elasticity with age, the face also loses volume and youthful definition. When the face is under-filled, the skin laxity and wrinkles become more noticeable. Therefore, addressing volume problems plays a key role in minimizing wrinkles. Dermal fillers like Juvederm and Restylane are helpful for restoring healthy volume to the face.

There are things you can do on your own for healthier, smoother skin. Reducing sun exposure can help; you should wear sunscreen regularly and avoid tanning beds (opt for a spray tan instead). You can also work with a doctor to pick out some professional-grade skin care products to use at home.

Contact Eyesthetica

For more information about preventing or treating wrinkles, please call us at (213) 234-1000 today.