One of the first areas both women and men may notice early signs of aging is in their upper and lower eyelids. Besides factors such as genetics, sun exposure, and smoking, which are known to contribute to the appearance of the eyelids, sleep is also potentially involved in affecting how we look. Scientific investigation reveals that the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, droopy eyelids, or dark circles under the eyes can manifest both in patients getting older and in those who are sleep deprived. A new study in the journal Sleep sought to evaluate the effects of sleep and conversely, sleep deprivation, on facial appearance as perceived by others (1). Investigators assessed a group of women and men who were either well rested or sleep deprived, and were observed by women between the ages of 20 and 30 years. Several criteria were used to describe appearance including:

  • droopy eyelids
  • red eyes
  • swollen eyes
  • dark circles under the eyes
  • fine lines and wrinkles

Sleep deprived individuals also looked sadder than those who were well rested, and sadness was correlated with fatigue in terms of facial appearance.

Patients who are considering rejuvenation of their eyelids with plastic surgery, such as with Botox, fillers, or an eyelid lift, should be aware of the impact of being well rested on their overall appearance. Skin quality may be improved with sleep, as will the results of any aesthetic procedures around the eyes.

Dr. Olivia Hutchinson is a board certified female plastic surgeon in NYC and specializes in aesthetic plastic surgery of the face, breast and body. Her office on Manhattan’s Upper East Side offers a AAAASF certified Operating Room for the safety, privacy and comfort of her patients. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hutchinson, please contact us or call us at (212) 452-1400.

1. Sundelin, T. et al. Cues of Fatigue: Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Facial Appearance. Sleep Sept. 2013; 36(9):1355-60.

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