Do We Really Form Wrinkles When We Sleep?

Getting good sleep can slow down aging, yet how you doze off can cause wrinkles. WTF?

We all know "'beauty sleep" is a thing. Proper shut-eye may be one of your body's most productive times in terms of repair and rejuvenation. This especially applies to your skin, as board certified dermatologist Dr. Murad confirms, which is not only the largest system in your body but "the one that displays the most dramatic signs of sleep deprivation." We're talking discoloration, bags, blemishes and lines. Hmpf.

So how come sleep can also contribute to wrinkle formation? Different from temporary pillow marks, 'sleep wrinkles', as they're known, are thought to be caused by the skin being pushed and pulled against the pillow, which over time can damage our skin-smoothing collagen.

While pillow face is often considered to be a beauty myth, sleep wrinkles are in fact recognised by the derms. Dr Murad says, "the American Academy of Dermatology supports the idea that sleeping in certain positions will increase and cause wrinkles." Sleeping face down on your pillow or on side can cause lines to form, while sleeping on your back can prevent the formation of wrinkles. "The reason for this has to do with repetitive motion leading to wrinkles over time and gravity," he explains.

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Have trouble staying asleep on your back? "One way to do this is to put a U-shaped bucky pillow around your neck and to prop yourself with other pillows all around you so you don't turn in your sleep," says New York dermatologist Debra Jaliman and author of Skin Rules.

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This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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