01603 360360

What are Sleep Lines?

sleep lines

Sleep lines, also known as sleeping lines, are wrinkles that form on the skin while sleeping. They are caused by friction between the skin and the surface of the pillow. This friction causes the skin to scrunch up and fold, and if the position of the head stays in the same place, skin folds will form. Over time the skin folds will not spring back so readily, and eventually lines will become etched in the skin.


Sleeping on the side or front for a period of time will cause sleep lines to form. More than half us, according to one study, sleep on our side, and a further 7% on our fronts. So, to avoid sleep lines we should just sleep on our backs! This is not that simple. The problem is people mostly sleep on their side or front for one reason; they like it. If, for any reason you have had to change how you lie when sleeping, you will know you will just roll back to where you usually sleep.  If you sleep either on your side or front and have noticed diagonal lines persisting much past waking, you have sleep lines.

Causes of sleep lines

Persistent sleep lines primarily result from two factors: 1) the pressure and friction from pillows, coupled with insufficient skin hydration or elasticity, and 2) the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin. They might be caused differently to dynamic wrinkles (wrinkles caused by repeated expressions) but the underlying reasons why they appear are similar. The reason is collagen breakdown in the area where the skin has been creased and a general slowing down of collagen production.  Sleep lines can form at any age but as we get older they will start to show more.

Where do sleep lines form?

Sleep lines tend to form on the forehead, the cheek, and to the sides of the eyes. You can identify them from their diagonal nature and the fact that facial movements will not have much effect on them at all. On the forehead they tend to form from the upper right and left and run downward towards the nose. These lines may be seen more prominently when skin is dehydrated and not protected from sun exposure or environmental damage.

How to Reduce Sleep Lines

Fortunately, there are several ways to help avoid sleep lines and reduce their appearance. One method is to invest in a  silk or satin pillowcase to reduce the friction and pull on the skin. Another is to buy a sleep mask to reduce friction between your skin and the pillow. Sleeping on your back if you currently sleep on your side, or side if you currently sleep on your front will help. In addition, moisturising your skin regularly (wear a good night cream) with a high quality product can help to reduce the formation of wrinkles. Always try to keep your hands away from your face at night as this will worsen the issue. As with all these things is also important to limit exposure to sun, cigarettes, and alcohol, as these can all exacerbate the appearance of sleep lines

What Treatments are Available to Treat Sleep Lines?

If you already have sleep lines, there are various treatment options available to reduce their presence. These include chemical peels, laser treatments, dermabrasion and microneedling. Any treatment that aims to increase stimulation of collagen and cell turnover production will help reduce the appearance of sleep lines.  Hyaluronic acid Dermal fillers are also an option, but interestingly, while being very effective for dynamic lines, Botox will not help with sleep lines. This is due to the fact that there is not a muscle involved in the lines.


If you would like to know more about your personal treatment options for sleep lines or any other condition, feel free to get in touch.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Articles


All our staff have been vaccinated against Covid-19 thus reducing mutual risk. As a Covid-Safe, CQC Registered Medical Clinic with Ventilation that ensures TWELVE air changes per hour your safety is our priority. 

We are continuing to adhere to strict protocols so the car park will continue as our waiting room for the time being. We look forward to welcoming you back!

Feel free to contact us on 01603 360 360 or at info@laserdocs.co.uk.