Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS Amy Ortega MD TM

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Sleep and Wrinkles: Is There a Connection?

Sleeping and Signs of AgingYou know the major causes of wrinkles: spending too much time in the sun, smoking, and of course, your genes. Can how you sleep also contribute to the signs of aging on your face? In some cases, the answer is yes. Whether you want to keep the results of a facial plastic surgery for as long as possible or want to avoid non-surgical options for as long you can, it’s worth paying some attention to your style when it comes to sleeping.

How You Sleep

After any type of plastic surgery, from rhinoplasty to eyelid lift, surgeons typically recommend sleeping on your back, with your head propped up. Doing so helps you avoid irritating your incisions or affecting the results of your surgery. Sleeping propped up also helps keep swelling to a minimum.

But, should you try to sleep on your back if you haven’t had surgery, as a way to keep a lot of wrinkles from developing?  The general recommendation is to sleep on your back. Sleeping on your side can lead to wrinkles on the side of your face that touches the pillow, thanks to pressure and gravity. Sleeping on your stomach with your face flat in the pillow can also lead to wrinkles, particularly lines on your forehead and brow.

After years of curling up your side to sleep or doing a face plant into your pillow night after night, sleeping on your back can be a challenge. It will take some getting used to, but you can help speed the process by propping yourself up with pillows. A few pillows on either side of your body will keep you from turning over in your sleep. You can also try to put a U-shaped travel pillow around your neck to keep your head from turning to one side or the other.

How Much You Sleep

How long you sleep each night might have a greater impact on your skin when it comes to wrinkles than the position you sleep in. Your skin needs sleep to restore and repair itself as much as the rest of your body does. A 2013 study from UH Case Medical Center found that women who only got about five hours of sleep per night for a month had considerably more wrinkles than women who got at least seven hours nightly. The study also found that the people who got more sleep were able to recover from sun damage more quickly than those who only got five hours a night.

Sleep not only helps your skin cells repair themselves. The more sleep you get, the less cortisol, or stress hormone, your body produces. An excess of cortisol damages and destroys skin cells, making your skin look more weathered and old before its time.

How to Get More Sleep

When you  hear the advice to get more sleep, you might think, easier said than done. While it can be challenging to get a full seven or eight hours a night, it’s important not only for the health of your skin, but for your overall health, too. A few tricks can help you get your beauty rest on a regular basis.

One of the first things you might want to try is to set up a schedule for sleeping and to stick to it. For example, aim to get into bed with the lights out by 10:30 each night. Set your alarm for eight  hours later. When your alarm goes off, resist the urge to hit snooze. Instead, get out of bed on the first ring. Setting your alarm across the room can help you avoid the snooze button, as you’ll have to get up to get to it.

Another way to improve your sleeping habits is to watch what you do, eat or drink in the hours before bed. If falling asleep is a challenge, try avoiding any stimulants, such as caffeine, several hours before bed. The nicotine in tobacco products also acts as a stimulant that can keep you up at night, but that’s not the only reason you should give up smoking. It also contributes to the signs of aging and can lead to more wrinkles.

The temperature in your bedroom also impacts how much sleep you get. Being too warm makes it difficult to sleep. Ideally, keep your room temperature between 65 and 75 degrees. If you feel too hot under the covers, remove a blanket or two until you feel comfortable.

If you have some wrinkles you’d like to take care of, Dr. Ross Clevens, voted “Best in Brevard” and the only double board certified, practicing facial plastic surgeon between Orlando and St. Augustine, can help you. Dr. Clevens can evaluate your face and recommend the most appropriate treatment for you, whether it’s laser skin resurfacing, injections or even surgery. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Clevens, call (321) 727-3223 today.

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Dr Clevens | Melbourne, FL

Dr. Ross Clevens, 707 W Eau Gallie Blvd. Melbourne, FL 32935 | (321) 727-3223

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