Goesel Anson, MD, FACS, of Ansen, Edwards & Higging, Plastic Surgery Associates conducted a study on facial compression during sleep, uncovering the results that it can create wrinkles and contribute to skin expansion over time.
“Sleep wrinkles differ from expression wrinkles in mechanism of origin, location and directionality,” the researchers said. “We suggest these are sufficient reasons to reconsider wrinkle classifications and consider the possibility that facial distortion during sleep may also contribute to overall facial aging.”
Sleep wrinkle development is less predictable than expression wrinkles due to the number of variables that influence sleep wrinkle development. Researchers found that sleep wrinkles occur in spots where the skin buckles to external forces and that sleep patterns can reinforce expression line.
“It’s important that we identify the etiology of changes that occur with aging,” Anson told Healio.com. “A wrinkle is not just a wrinkle! Facial distortion during sleep deserves further study. The mechanical forces acting on the face during lateral or prone sleep positions are very different from those that occur during standing and we spend a significant amount of time sleeping.”
In order to minimize sleep wrinkle development it may be needed to switch to back sleeping, but it is difficult to switch sleeping patterns. Nowadays, specialty pillows are made in order to aid in the reduction of sleep induced wrinkles.