Welcome back! 😊
In this blog I would like to address one of the most important activity of our lives and how this can impact the way our face (and even our body) ages. We spend about 1/3rd of our lives doing this activity……so it makes sense that we do it right.
We should all know by now that a good sleep is often associated with beauty and hence it’s sometimes referred to as ‘BEAUTY SLEEP’.
Getting quality sleep is an essential part of Face yoga routine and helps your skin to feel its best. Lack of good sleep very often shows up on the face as dark circles around the eyes and dull skin. A good night’s sleep helps our skin benefit in the following ways.
Collagen is made
Skin cells repair and renew
Blood flow to the skin increases
The skincare products are absorbed well
Toxins from skin are eliminated
So, it’s given that getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep a day is totally awesome and essential.
Now, if you are sleeping around 8 hours a day, you are sleeping for about 1/3rd of your lifetime. That essentially makes it a BIG GAME CHANGER in the way you age.
Sleep is important!! ………But the way you sleep plays a big role when it comes to the way your face ages. In fact, I can tell you that
THE WRONG SLEEP POSITION is the NUMBER ONE CULPRIT in accelerating aging on your face.
Most people like to sleep either on their left/right side, some on their back and others on their tummies.
What happens is when you are sleeping on the side especially same side, one side of your face is being squished for about 8 hours a day. When you are younger, you can get away with it as your skin and facial muscles bounce back to its original form as you wake up and get through the day. But as you age, the skin gradually loses its ability to bounce back from our habitual mistreatments.
The result of sleeping on side all night??? ……………
When you wake up in the morning you see
Deeper nasolabial fold lines
Deeper crow’s feet and lines around your eyes on the side you slept
Lines on the neck on the side that you slept
This might diminish and become less apparent through the day but over a long period these lines tend to become permanent.
15 minutes of facial exercises a day will not be good enough to save you from the 8 HOURS OF MISTREATMENT that you are subjecting your skin and muscles to, overnight.
So, what is the best position to sleep??
You guessed it right…………..ON YOUR BACK!!
For many of us, even the thought of sleeping all through the night on our back might feel uncomfortable. And trust me, it is!
But the benefits of sleeping on your back will certainly outweigh your discomfort.
When you sleep on your back, your face is in a neutral position and this avoids either side of the face getting squished during the night and hence, prevents unnecessary lines and wrinkles on the face.
Isn’t that awesome??
But wait………It doesn’t end here……..It gets better………
When you are sleeping on your back, your face is WORKING AGAINST GRAVITY for about 8 hours…..and that my friend is a BIG DEAL in keeping your face looking youthful and is the biggest pro-aging (or so called ‘anti-aging’) hack.
Aging and Gravity
GRAVITY is constantly pulling down everything and that includes the skin and muscles on our face. Let us do a simple experiment to see the effect of gravity on your face.
The Gravity Test:
- Grab a mirror or turn on your phone camera on a selfie mode.
- Now hold the mirror or the phone parallel to the floor facing up at a level between your chest and waist.
- Bend over your head and look into the mirror. What do you see???
Notice how your face looks saggy and much older. That’s the effect of gravity on your face and that’s probably going to be your face 10 years from now without face yoga.
- Raise the mirror or your phone over your head parallel to the ceiling.
- Look up into the mirror.
What do you see??
I am sure the image you see would make you want to smile as this is a much younger looking you……Say about 10 years back.
Think about it. Why does your face appear much younger when you are looking up???
Because all your face skin and muscles are pulled backward making your face work against gravity.
This is what you are doing when you are sleeping on your back. You are not only protecting your face against the effects of gravity; you are in fact countering the effects of gravity that occurs during the day when you are awake.
Sleeping on your back is certainly worth it. And although it might feel extremely uncomfortable in the beginning, like any other new habit, it does get better with time. So, don’t give up on trying…
Talking about my own personal experience, I had the habit of sleeping on my left side until a couple of years ago (Oh! Doesn’t that feel cozy to sleep in the fetal position curled up on the side!!). That left me with flat cheeks on the left side and a rounded cheek on the right. I also used to wake up with deep nasolabial folds. Those were the first signs of aging I noticed on my face.
And having worked with clients who were side sleepers or tummy sleepers, I noticed the following unfavorable impacts of those sleep positions
Postural issue like rounded shoulders, forward head posture and hunched back
Deep nasolabial folds and tightness on one side of the face
Deeper lines on neck
Lines between breasts and the decolletage area
Tilt in the nose
Asymmetries in cheek and mouth.
Once, I started my Face yoga practice, I immediately realized the damage I was causing to my face and started trying to sleep on my back. Yes! It was hard and uncomfortable in the beginning…and I struggled. But I never quit trying.
Now, I can say that I am able to sleep quite comfortably on my back for most nights and most part of the night. My cheeks are far more balanced, and I wake looking beautiful.
If you have read till here, I think I have convinced you enough to try sleeping on your back. But if you are still thinking if sleeping on the back is worth you discomfort, let me summarize the benefits for you below.
Benefits of sleeping on your back
Your face is in a neutral position and avoids getting squished on sides, leaving deep lines on skin.
Avoids lines in the decolletage area and between breasts.
Avoids postural issues like rounded shoulders, forward head posture and hunched back.
Avoids facial asymmetries.
Counteracts the effects of gravity on your face that occurs during the day.
The gravity works in your favor pulling the skin and facial muscles backwards just like it did when you looked upwards in the mirror.
You wake up more beautiful.
Tips to make sleeping on your back easier
Placing a pillow under your knees makes it a lot easier to sleep on your back.
Use a low pillow for your head. Using a high pillow, makes it uncomfortable for the neck and leads to double chin and horizontal lines on the neck.
Start off by sleeping on the back. It’s okay if you wake up on the side. It takes time for the body to get adjusted.
This is another tip which I haven’t tried but have heard that it helps. Putting an eye bag (bean bag) on the eyes at night helps to keep you on your back and also relaxes your eyes.
There are special ‘anti – aging pillows’ in the market that helps you stay on the back and even if you turn over to the side, the shape of the pillow is such that it doesn’t squish your face. I have heard great things about them but haven’t tried them yet. I might get one soon.
Keep trying. Although I have been practicing sleeping on my back for over a year now, there are still some nights, I find it hard to stay on the back and switch to side and that’s okay. Point is don’t just give up completely because its hard at first.
If you absolutely cannot sleep on your back after trying everything……the next best thing to do, is to alternate equally between sleeping both sides and get an anti-aging pillow.
PLEASE NOTE: If you think you have any medical conditions that restricts your sleeping on the back, please consult your doctor before making any changes to your sleep position.
If you enjoyed reading this blog and found some valuable tips which you can apply to your lifestyle, I would love to hear from you. Please DM me on my Instagram @bloomfaceyoga and share your thoughts with me.