Are you tired of waking up with dull, tired-looking skin, and puffy eyes? Us too. And although there are many factors that may be contributing to your skin health (stress, sugar intake and of course, genetics come to mind), one interesting trend that’s been circulating is the idea that your sleep position may be a culprit behind worsening acne, wrinkles, and the overall look of your skin.
Every sleep position has its exalted pros and cons — and we recommend speaking to a sleep specialist for your specific health needs — but one that caught our attention is that sleeping on your back may very well be the ultimate sleep position for your skin. So we popped the question to our resident Dermatologist, Dr. Schaffran, to get her take.
Sleeping on your back can prevent sleep lines and wrinkles.
According to Dr. Schaffran, sleeping on your side for prolonged periods can cause what we call “sleep lines” that appear along the temple and cheek area. By sleeping on your back, it can help prevent those lines from forming or worsening. Not only that, but back sleeping can also prevent facial asymmetry. When you sleep on your stomach or side, it can promote unevenness in the texture and volume of the face, whereas facing upwards keeps your facial skin evenly dispersed.
Enjoy better blood flow and less inflammation.
Blood and fluid tends to pool when you sleep with your face scrunched against a pillow, leading to the impression of swollen eyes and cheeks. By switching to your back and keeping your head generally upwards, you can improve your blood flow and may notice less inflammation in your face in the A.M.
And our favorite added bonus: back sleeping can reduce the risk of acne.
If you’re guilty of not changing your pillowcases frequently, this could be a game changer. Doubly so if you’ve splurged on an expensive night cream and don’t want it transferring to your pillow. By not rubbing your face into the fabric — which can expose your face to a whole host of harmful bacteria — you reduce your risk of breakouts. If you often notice unexplained acne on the side of your face, this could be a solid reason to turn on your back, where nothing can get on your face.
As an aside, this position also helps those with back problems.
In addition to preventing wrinkles and fine lines, back sleeping helps to keep your spine in proper alignment. It’s where your spine is in its most neutral position. Placing a pillow under your knees while on your back can help alleviate any discomfort as well.
But I can't get comfortable on my back. How do I get used to it?
Your sleep habits are pretty ingrained by now. So how do you make the transition?
- Try using pillows strategically to support your neck, arms, and knees. This will keep you in a comfortable position and prevent you from rolling over to your stomach or side. Some people even find barricading themselves on either side of their body is of benefit.
- Invest in a good quality pillow that will support your neck and head while you sleep.
- Keep your room cool. A cooler room can help you sleep better and make it easier to stay on your back.