With the anti-aging industry estimated to be worth $191.7 billion globally, it’s safe to say a lot of women are afraid of looking older.
But did you know that there are little things you do that makes the appearance of fine lines on your skin even more prominent?
According to a Mirror report, one contributing factor to wrinkles is the position in which you sleep—particularly sleeping on your stomach.
And it’s not only wrinkles you have to worry about; there’s also the concern about your spine.
“Eighty percent of the population will have back problems at some point in [their] lives oftentimes caused or aggravated by the way they sleep,” said Dr. Hooman Melamed, orthopedic spine surgeon at the DISC Sports & Spine Center in Los Angeles.
As a result, our sleeping position could be the cause of our back and neck pain, stomach troubles, and even premature aging.
So what’s the best position in which to sleep?
Dr. Melamed recommends sleeping on your back. “You are in the best position as your spine stays in natural alignment all night long,” he said.
This position also removes the extra pressure or curves are added to the back. There are also other benefits.
“Sleeping on your back also combats acid reflux,” Dr. Decontee Jimmeh, a neurologist in Norwood Clinic in Birmingham, told Medical Daily.
In this position, the head is elevated, and the stomach is able to sit below the esophagus, making it less likely for digested substances to come back up.
Another benefit of this position is preventing wrinkles and breakouts. It works by allowing your skin to work with gravity instead of against it: as you sleep, your skin gets pulled back instead of down.
“If you fold a piece of paper enough times, you get an etched crease there,” said Dermatologist Jaime Davis. “As far as wrinkles are concerned, you’re probably best to sleeping flat on your back.”
Of course sleeping on your back isn’t a miracle cure against those fine lines, but it does help.
There are also certain things you can do to make sure your skin remains supple and healthy even at old age, such as protecting it from sun exposure, regularly applying moisturiser, proper diet, and not smoking.
Meanwhile sleeping on your stomach is never advised, and can pose health risks in the long term.
This position doesn’t give support to the natural curve of the spine, which can then lead to overarching. It also places pressure on joints and muscles that can lead to pain, numbness, and tingling.
“[I]t forces your neck to be in a rotated, closed pack, tight position, which also compromises your breathing and circulation,” said Vivian Eisenstadt, physical therapist in Los Angeles.