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Sleep Lines: Your Pillow Could be the Cause of Your Wrinkles

Shay is a beauty blogger with a mass of Iranian hair and endless patience for product testing. She specializes in acne skincare.

Sleep Lines: Your Pillow Could be the Cause of Your Wrinkles

Sleep Lines: Your Pillow Could be the Cause of Your Wrinkles

When "Beauty Sleep" Becomes Not So Beautiful

If you sleep on your side or stomach, there is a good chance your pillow is causing wrinkles on your face. These wrinkles, called sleep lines, are common, yet avoidable. In this article, I will explain how sleep position can increase wrinkle formation on the face and various ways to reduce or eliminate these aging effects.

Sleep Position Poll

John Henry Fuseli - The Nightmare

John Henry Fuseli - The Nightmare

Why Sleep Position Can Age You

If you frequently lie on your side or stomach, or lie in the fetal position while sleeping, it's very likely that your face is smashed into your pillow on a regular basis. This "face smushing," as I like to call it, causes your skin to scrunch-up or wrinkle, especially around your eyes and cheeks. After years of sleeping like this, forcing your skin into this position night after night, you will form wrinkles on the face or deepen wrinkles that had formed already. If you favor one side over the other while sleeping, you'll begin to notice that the wrinkles on that side are more pronounced.

How to Prevent or Reduce Sleep Lines

Ack! Sleep Lines? I have to worry about sleep lines now??

The good news is, sleep lines are entirely preventable. Even if you do have wrinkles on your face right now, you can change certain habits to at least stop sleep related wrinkles from getting worse:

  1. The No Fail Method: The best option for preventing or reducing sleep lines is, and always will be, sleeping on your back. If you can train yourself to sleep on your back, you can slow down the formation of certain wrinkles on your face and chest.
  2. Wrinkle Prevention Pillows: If you don't want to sleep on your back, there are actually pillows you can use to reduce wrinkles regardless of your sleep position. They are contoured to cradle the neck and side of the head, without putting pressure on your face.
  3. Wrinkle Patches: With these, you can keep your usual pillow and sleep position, but keep your skin smooth and taut under the eyes, on the cheeks, between the eyebrows, and on the chest.
  4. Silk Pillowcases: Silk is easier on the skin than cotton or flannel. Your pillowcase may not completely prevent sleep wrinkles, but silk should at least reduce the severity.
  5. Moisturize: When all else fails, keep that skin well moisturized! Lotions and creams can help your skin look better and healthier while improving the appearance of sleep lines.

Anti Wrinkle Sleep Patches

If you love your pillow and sleep position and aren't looking for a change, but are still concerned about sleep wrinkles, anti-aging patches might worth looking into. They work by holding the skin flat and preventing excessive "face smush," even if you do sleep on your side or stomach. I recommend one of two popular brands "DermaGen" or "Frownies."

There is also a brand called "SilcSkin" that makes a "Decollette Pad" that is made to be worn on the chest to help prevent wrinkles there. Alternately, you could roll a cloth and place it under a tight fitting tank top or soft bra to keep your chest in a less smushed up position while sleeping.

Anti-Wrinkle Pillows for Side Sleepers

Once Upon a Time, I thought of the ingenious idea of creating a pillow for side sleepers that supports the head and neck without putting pressure on the face. Unfortunately, my idea was so ingenious that someone had already thought of it. Darn it.

My search to see if anyone had thought of my idea is actually what inspired me to write this article. I found a handful of pillow styles online, but the pillow below is the top anti-wrinkle pillows for side-sleepers available on Amazon.

Sleeping On Your Back

An Old Fashioned Beauty Treatment

Sleeping on your back is still the most effective way at preventing sleep lines and sleep wrinkles. If you find that sleeping on your back is difficult to do at first, give it time and your body should get used to it. If time just aint workin', know that there are pillows that are made explicitly for back sleepers. These pillows provide additional support to your head and neck, and help insure a restful night's sleep.

Train Yourself to Sleep on Your Back

Other Options for Anti-Wrinkle Sleep

So, maybe you don't want to change your pillow. Would you consider changing your pillowcase? Silk is proven to be gentler on the skin while sleeping. In addition to anti-wrinkle benefits, silk pillowcases may also help with acne.

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You can also use a travel pillow to support your neck and prop yourself up a bit with a few other pillows around your upper body, neck, and head. This solution might sound ridiculous, but it might also be a very comfortable sleeping position for you!


Charito Maranan-Montecillo from Manila, Philippines on February 27, 2014:

Thanks for these tips! I do get sleep lines on my face, and I hate looking at them on the mirror when I wake up.

CathyLee on February 06, 2014:

I was intrigue, never thought the sleep positions could greatly affect your face that way! I'm always fond of working with anti-wrinkle benefits, starting to consider this. I have been using Facial Toner for my beauty regimen, I'm thinking to add this on my list.

changrcoacher on October 05, 2013:

I sleep on my back a lot and I don't sleep with a pillow. Spent some of my childhood in an orphanage and we weren't allowed to sleep on a pillow. Now I understand it also prevents a double chin...hope so, anyway. Thank for this thoroughly informative lens.

LorLinda from Denver Colorado on April 06, 2013:

I always believed in this the problem is that it is hard to change an old habit. My boyfriend looks young for his age and he is a back sleeper. That may have helped him. I do believe in all this though. What a great lens to share, you sure know your stuff :)

Takkhis on March 27, 2013:

I don't care what position i do sleep in but i care whether i sleep well or not :)

Magda2012 on March 13, 2013:

Smart idea to use this kind of pillow!

Shay Marie (author) from Southern California on March 09, 2013:

@ingridpalmer: I know. I've been trying to train myself, and I keep feeling like I need more support on the side of my head. Perhaps I can engineer something...

ingridpalmer on March 09, 2013:

I know about sleep lines. No matter how hard I try I can never sleep on my back. If I start in that position, I will eventually end up on my side. Need to look at those sleep patches.

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