Sleeping on your stomach or side can cause face wrinkles

Repeatedly sleeping on your stomach or side can cause facial wrinkles to develop over time, according to a new study.

Researchers looked into how compression during sleep can result in wrinkles and facial expansion, and discovered that “sleep wrinkles” are influenced by the amount of time we spend sleeping in certain positions.

On average people change positions 20 times throughout the night and during side or stomach sleeping facial tissue is subject to “shear, compression and tensile mechanical forces” as the skin is stretched and pulled in different directions, the report found.

Lead author of the report, Dr Goesel Anson, said: "Sleep wrinkles form in response to distortion created when the face is pressed against any sleep surface. They tend to worsen over time due to repetition, combined with thinning of the skin and decreased elasticity as we age.”

"One way to minimise sleep wrinkles is to limit facial distortion during sleep. If you can stay on your back, that's ideal. There are several specialty pillows available to help achieve that.”

The Sleep Wrinkles: Facial Ageing and Facial Distortion During Sleep report, written by Goesel Anson, Michael Kane and Val Lambros, was published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal and can be read here.