Do you ever wake up looking older than you did the night before? You’re probably not imagining it. A new study suggests that permanent wrinkles can also result from your sleeping position – especially if you sleep on your side and stomach.

When patients complain to us they have more wrinkles on one side of the face than the other, we always ask how they sleep at night? And then the penny drops. Yes, those extra lines and l creases are more often deeply etched on their favourite sleeping side.

These sleep wrinkles mostly occur from squashing your face on your pillow and can form as cheek and forehead creases, lip lines, lines running across the cheeks under the eyes (malar creases) and the biggest crinklers of all, across the chest.

While sleep induced wrinkles increase with age, the study also shows that they are also influenced by the amount of time we spend in various positions. Fascinatingly, we tend to sleep longer in one position as we get older as the number of position shifts decrease from an average of 27 to 16 a night – bad news if you sleep on your side or stomach.

One solution suggested to fight nighttime wrinkles is to retrain yourself to sleep on your back which is more difficult than it sounds, as most people unconsciously change positions throughout the night. Investing in ‘c’ shaped pillow, (sometimes called a geisha pillow) may help by preventing you rolling over onto to your side, and using a silk pillowcase is kinder to the complexion as it causes less compression. Our advice – don’t worry too much about your sleeping position – just get a good night’s sleep.

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