Weird Sleep Habits That Sabotage Your Skin

When it comes to getting good skin, we put most of our focus on proper cleansing and moisturizing. But in addition to what we do when we're awake, our nighttime routine also impacts skin's health, and there are a number of sleep habits that could surprisingly be ruining your skin. Your bed may seem innocent enough, but the way you sleep, what you do before you hit the sheets, and the types of linens you use can all play a role in your skin's health and appearance.

"Sleeping is actually something our body and skin needs and craves," says dermatologist Dr. Jill Waibel over email. "When we sleep, or body recharges and gets ready for the next day. When we are sleeping our skin specifically heals the wounds and trauma that it has come in contact with throughout the day, as well as re-hydrates itself."

Getting a good amount of sleep is important, but how you sleep matters too, which means it's time to start instilling healthy sleep habits, if not for you're mind, but for the sake of your skin as well. If you suspect your bedtime habits may not be ideal, you might want to pay attention to these nine sleep habits that are likely ruining your skin.

1. Not Washing Your Bedding

"As you lay your head to rest at night, you are also laying all the dirt and residue that you have come in contact with throughout the day on that pillow as well," says Waibel. Since pillowcases, sheets, and blankets can house dirt and oil, you'll want to make sure you're washing your bedding at least once a week to avoid breakouts.

2. Sleeping In A Hot Room

Sleep in a too warm room and you'll find yourself doused in sweat. This can cause dead skin, excess oil, and even bacteria to become trapped in the pores of your skin, making you break out. Lower the temperature so that you're cozy, but not too warm while you sleep.

3. Sleeping In A Cold Room

Jus as you don't want your room too hot, you also don't want your room to be too cold. Put the A/C on blast and the cold air will end up drying out your skin. Cold air sucks out your skin's moisture, according to WebMD, so make sure your thermostat is set to a comfortable temperature.

4. Sleeping On One Side

Sleeping on your side is a common culprit of wrinkles. "People who only sleep on one side often get a linear line that forms from the hairline down to the jawline," says dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban, founder of SKINxFIVE over email. "Get a different pillow and learn to sleep on your back."

5. Sleeping On Your Stomach

Stomach sleepers: you're also not in the clear. "Sleeping face down in the pillow can also contribute to face, neck and chest wrinkling," dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer over email. When at all possible, try to switch to your back.

6. Going To Bed At Different Times Every Night

"If you don't have consistency with your nightly sleep, your circadian rhythm can be disrupted, resulting in insomnia and/or fatigue," says Palmer. "Research has found that when our circadian clock is out of sync, skin aging (fine lines, wrinkles, roughness, dryness and dull skin) is accelerated."

7. Falling Asleep With Makeup

We've heard it time and time again, but it's still just as important: Don't go to bed with your makeup on. "Your make up serves as a toxic sticky film where pollutants and other environmental debris can sit," says Shamban. "Press that against the pillowcase, and you develop inflammatory skin conditions as well as acne."

8. Sleeping With Your Pet

It feels good to get cozy with your pet, but maybe keep it to when you're snuggling on the couch watching a movie. "Be careful if you are sleeping with your face resting on your pet," says Shamban. "The fur of your pet can contain fungus bacteria as well as fleas. Fido needs to sleep at the foot of the bed!"

9. Wearing Your Hair Down

"Wearing your hair the wrong way could mean waking up to breakouts the next morning," says RealSelf Contributor Dr. Joel Schlessinger over email. Pull your hair back into a loose pony or braid so natural oils or any products you use don't clog your pores or cause irritation.

Making some little tweaks to your nighttime habits could end up doing wonders for your skin.

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