Does Sleeping on One Side of Your Face Cause Asymmetry?

Facial asymmetry is a problem many people face. Many factors can contribute to why a person may have a less symmetrical face than another person. One of those factors is your habits and way of life. 

Sleeping on one side can cause facial asymmetry, especially when you favor one side excessively more than the other. There are tensions and forces present that exacerbate facial asymmetry when heavily leaning on one part of the face while sleeping.

We are all familiar with wanting to take care of our faces. After all, faces are a kind of currency in today’s world, not to mention the mental health benefits we get by actively caring for ourselves. Part of self-care is being concerned with appearance. It is not narcissistic and vain to think about your face and its balance. But it also requires some planning and foresight, as your actions today might not affect you now, but years or decades from now.

Unfortunately, sleeping is also one of the things that you should consider regarding facial asymmetry. As it turns out, your sleeping position does play a part in facial symmetry. Throughout a night of sleep, a person will normally switch positions several times. But, there are some instances when the person favors sleeping on one side of the face more than the other. 

Sleeping on one side more than the other causes compression wrinkles. Like any other kind of wrinkle, these could mess with facial symmetry. While compression wrinkles’ effects may not be more than skin deep, they can still contribute to facial asymmetry. 

Also, your bones have the ability to remodel and change when exposed to continuous pressures.

What Happens to the Face When We Sleep?

Source: SleepReview

As we sleep, we do not stay in one position the entire time. Most people will move around at least a little bit during the night. These movements are unconscious, and people do not wake up just to change positions. However, there are also instances when you favor one side over the other, such as developing an injury and being forced to sleep on one side more than the other.

While we sleep, there are external factors that apply pressure on the face. As the skin ages, it also loses elasticity. In effect, there will be sleep wrinkles on certain parts of the face. Take a look at the photo below so you can identify what sleep wrinkles look like. 

The problem with sleep wrinkles is not directly rooted in symmetry. The problem arises when it is only in a certain area of the face. Take a look at the picture below.

Now imagine the wrinkles only happening on one side of the face. Of course, it would look imbalanced. The pressure and the friction that the face endures overnight are the culprits of this. Changes to the face and facial symmetry will not occur overnight. They are slow changes that will happen over a long time. Plus, it will only get worse as you age. 

Bones are affected too. Strong violent forces won’t change bone unless your goal is to break bone. Only slow continuous pressures over long periods have the ability to change bones. Favoring any position or posture in an imbalanced way will also create an imbalance in your face. Luckily, by actually paying attention to posture, you can use this principle to your advantage with mewing.

Sleeping and wrinkles are not a perfect science. Each face and skin type will react differently. On the positive side, most people twist and turn in their sleep. While there is a preferred position, the average human being explores all sleeping positions throughout sleep, and thus no glaring asymmetry gets created.

According to Anson et al. (2016), facial distortion due to sleep is part of aging. This thought is also in line with the thinking that facial asymmetry gets worse with age. As people grow older, external factors work against them. Most people deal with these factors for decades.

Overall, you should also consider sleeping as one of the reasons why your face may be asymmetrical. However, take note that these changes are not abrupt. They will happen over a long period. You won’t wake up tomorrow after sleeping on one side with a wonky face. Realistically, it will take decades before your face has lines or cheekbone asymmetries due to your sleeping patterns.

But even if you are young, you should already prepare for the negative effects of aging on your skin. 

Preventing Facial Asymmetry

Take Charge of Your Sleep Position

It is unlikely that you are spending too much time on one part of your face. But if you are, you should try to change that behavior. Making a small effort to do so could lead to amazing changes in the long run. It may not be gratifying because aging is a long process, and you won’t see any changes since it is a preventive measure. But overall, you can do yourself a lot of favors for your facial symmetry if you pay the slightest of attention to how you sleep. 

Take Care of Your Body

Eating healthy and taking care of your body is the standard advice given on nearly every kind of problem. But all the same, it also applies here. Eating the proper food to sustain you can do wonders for your skin. Your body will know that you treat it well, and it will manifest in your soft tissues.

Drink the Right Amounts of Water

Yes, it’s the water tip again. But truly, water can do miracles for staying youthful and trying to regain symmetrical facial features. Water will help your skin retain its natural state. Plus, with aging being a common denominator with worsening facial asymmetry, you have nothing to lose. Water is great for your skin and the rest of the body as well.

Note that this means you should drink the right amounts, and not too much of it. 

sleep apnea
Preventing sleep apnea is arguably more important than your actual position. Visit our mewing guide to prevent any future sleep apnea problems.

Use Sunscreen

The purpose of sunscreen goes just beyond going to the beach. It is excellent protection from the sun that anyone can use on a day to day basis. The sun, no matter how necessary it is, can ultimately be taxing on the skin. Exposure to the sun has also been linked to facial asymmetry. Thus, using proper skincare tools like sunscreen will help out a lot. 

It does not take a lot of time and is inexpensive. There are very few reasons why you should not use sunscreen in your daily activities. If facial asymmetry bothers you a lot, you should get in on sunscreen as soon as you can.

Even better, stay on top of your skincare routine. Visit our Skin Care guide for more info.


Sleeping on one side of the face more than the other does cause facial asymmetry. But the results will not be automatic. For most people, it is a slow, gradual decline into facial symmetry.

So, if you are here because your face is suddenly asymmetrical, your sleeping position is likely not the culprit. You should visit your doctor in that case. There could be an underlying medical condition that is causing the abnormal shift in your face. While it is not likely, it is important to know for sure.

If you are worried that you sleep too much on one side, it’s probably not something you should have to worry too much about either. People will change positions several times when they sleep. The position you slept in will probably not be the entire position you hold for the night. But if you are one of those people, then you should take caution. If you have someone you can ask, try to consult them about your sleeping patterns. 

There is only a tiny chance that you do not move around in your sleep. Most likely, you do but don’t realize it. As people age, these changes in position will decrease. But, they will still be present. 

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