Sleeping face-down, sleeping on your side and sleeping on your back… Like everybody else, you probably have a favourite sleep position that you stick to for years. But did you know that each sleeping position has its pros and cons when it comes to your health and appearance?
Well, here is an example. While sleeping on your stomach and on your side can lead to wrinkles, sleeping on your back helps you to avoid sleep-related wrinkles.
it is estimated that only 8 to 10% of people prefer sleeping on their backs (1),(2). However, the fact that sleeping on the back is the best sleeping position to prevent sleep wrinkles can convince many adults, particularly ladies, to convert to a supine sleeping position, which is another way of saying sleeping face up.
By the way, you may think that sleeping on your back is only good for facial wrinkles. But, in fact, it can also reduce the risk of developing premature neck and chest wrinkles.
One thing is crystal clear now! Sleeping on your back is the best way to prevent sleep-induced wrinkles, also known as sleep wrinkles.
Now, you may want to ask why sleeping on the side or stomach is leading to sleep wrinkles whereas sleeping on the back is an effective way to prevent these sorts of wrinkles.
Let’s dive in and find out what makes sleeping on your back special for preventing sleep wrinkles.
Sleep and Wrinkles
No one is immune to wrinkles. Sadly, you too like everyone else will develop wrinkles on your skin eventually, regardless of your sleeping position or other factors such as your genes.
So how you sleep, what you eat, what anti-ageing cream you use or your genetics cannot prevent you from developing wrinkles. But, these and other factors can determine how early you develop them.
These factors, as the causes of wrinkles, are kind of predictable. However, hearing that a particular sleep position such as side sleeping impacts the skin, thus leading to wrinkles may sound a bit unrealistic to many people.
For this reason, it is important to underline the fact that an average person spends almost a third of his life asleep (12). Hopefully, this piece of information can make the potential impact of sleep on the skin more credible.
As a matter of fact, even chewing gum can lead to wrinkles around the lower face, according to dermatologists.
Why Sleeping On Your Back is Good For Wrinkles?
Almost all dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons agree on the fact that sleeping on your back is the best if you are to prevent sleep-induced wrinkles.
So, how do skin experts explain the positive impact of back sleeping on wrinkles?
The first and most important reason that back sleeping is good for wrinkles is that when you sleep on your back your face doesn’t press against a pillow or a surface.
On the other hand, when you sleep on your stomach or your side, your face receives constant pressure from the pillow. It wouldn’t cause wrinkles or fine lines in a short time though.
However, in the long run, this action (constant pressure on your face ) can cause sleep lines to form around your cheeks and temples (13).
The image below can help you better understand the potential impact of side sleeping.
In fact, there is an ongoing debate on what is the worst sleeping position for sleep-related wrinkles. Some say side sleeping is the worst, while others say sleeping face down ( your face gets smashed into the pillow ) is a sure-fire way to develop wrinkles.
So, we have made is one thing clear. When you sleep on your back, your face is not pressed against a pillow or a surface. That means you have fewer chances of developing sleep wrinkles.
Experts Statements on Back Sleeping and Wrinkles
According to Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist; “sleeping in such a way that your face comes into contact with cotton pillowcases like on your side or stomach can lead to the creation of deep sleep lines on your forehead and cheeks.” (14),(15).
So far we have mostly focused on facial wrinkles. However, sleeping on your back can also prevent chest and neck wrinkles.
Where Can Sleep-related Wrinkles Appear?
The fact is that wrinkles caused by a particular sleep position such as on your side can appear in different parts of your skin.
In general; sleep wrinkles and sleep lines appear on your chin, cheeks, forehead, nasolabial fold (20),(21). In addition to them though, sleep-related wrinkles can also appear on your neck and décolletage, as mentioned above.
So, making a habit of sleeping on your back might prevent wrinkles that may occur in these parts of your body due to side or stomach sleeping.
What may surprise you is that if you almost always sleep on your left side, there is a huge chance that you will notice sleep-related wrinkles on the left part of your face rather than on the right side.
In this article, we have discovered that sleeping on your back is the least risky way of developing sleep wrinkles.
This is because, when you sleep on your side or stomach one side of your face comes into contact with the pillow or the surface.
Although the pillow is a soft material, this contact continues for several hours and every night. As stated above, a person spends around a third of his life asleep.
So, every night the same pressure is applied to your face for years! This is where the problem begins.
If you are a young person you have enough collagen in your skin to repair your skin. However, if you are an adult, the damage that the pillow cause can be permanent due to insufficient collagen and elastic tissue in your skin.
Please note that as getting older collagen reserves diminish in your body. This, in turn, makes you susceptible to wrinkles and lines.
The conclusion is that sleeping on your back is arguably the best way to avoid sleep wrinkles. However, it doesn’t mean that this sleeping position is the best sleeping position for every aspect.
For instance; if you are pregnant or suffering from lower back pain, back sleeping may not be ideal for you.
As the last word, many find sleeping on their back uncomfortable, however, it can make you look younger in the long run.
If you are too concerned about your wrinkles, please work with your dermatologist to better deal with them.
Tarkan is an experienced medical writer ( currently more than 600 medical articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.
Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.