A new study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal explores how sleep position influences the development of wrinkles. The combination of spending more time in one sleep position, forces on the skin, and changes in the skin all contribute to increased numbers of wrinkles.

Although a nonsurgical facelift can’t help with all these wrinkles, it can reduce the prevalence of excess skin that can contribute to folds and wrinkles.

woman smiling while laying on her side in bed

While We Sleep, the Wrinkles Creep

The study looked at all the factors that can cause wrinkles to form overnight. They noted that sleeping on the stomach or side contributed to the formation of wrinkles. The impact of sleep position on wrinkles likely increased with age because we tend to spend more time in one position as we get older. At younger ages, we tend to change position an average of 27 times a night, but that decreases by a third to just 16 position changes a night. And if we tend to sleep in the same position every night, the same folding of the skin tends to recur night after night, reinforcing the wrinkles.

When we are sleeping, our face is subjected to a combination of forces. This includes compressive forces that drive the face into the pillow, tension forces that pull the skin away from the pillow, and shear forces that occur along the surface of the pillow. These forces cause the formation of wrinkles as they fold the skin in certain places.

As we get older, our skin also changes, making it more susceptible to sleep wrinkles. The skin tends to grow thinner and lose elasticity due to changes in the production of collagen, elastin, and other key proteins in the face.

Sleep wrinkles tend to form in different places than expression wrinkles, those related to repeated facial expressions. In general, they are perpendicular to expression wrinkles in most cases.

How to Control Sleep Wrinkles

Sleep wrinkles can be reduced by sleeping on your back at night. This reduces the amount of pressure and folding your facial skin will experience while you sleep. Most people (about 65%) sleep on their side, with only 30% sleep on their back.

People can also use skin care to help retain elasticity in the skin. Reducing sun exposure and quitting smoking can also help the skin to retain more youthful characteristics.

Researchers note that sleep wrinkles won’t respond to BOTOX ® Cosmetic injections because the wrinkles aren’t related to muscle contractions, but they might be relieved temporarily using injectable fillers, which work by adding volume to the areas where they’re injected.

Another way to restore volume to your face is with a nonsurgical facelift. As your teeth become damaged and worn, they become smaller, which means that they will occupy less volume. This creates an excess of skin that may be more susceptible to folding and creasing. Cosmetic dentistry can restore your teeth to their natural sizes, restoring the full volume of your lower face. This will make your skin less likely to develop folds and creases in this area, reducing marionette lines, witch’s chin, and other effects of age that can develop.

The effect is even more pronounced if you take advantage of the Denture Fountain of Youth ®, which optimally replaces missing teeth.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of a nonsurgical facelift or the Denture Fountain of Youth ® in Hilton Head, SC, please call (843) 706-2999 today for an appointment with the cosmetic dentists at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry.