By Marygrace Taylor
Talk about beauty rest: For sleep apnea patients, using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) can do more than help you get a better night’s rest. Research shows using a CPAP also can help turn back the clock on your looks.
CPAP use among sleep apnea patients has been shown to improve physical appearance, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Researchers from the University of Michigan used facial mapping technology to track the facial characteristics of 20 sleep apnea patients. After undergoing two months of CPAP treatment, the patients’ faces showed less puffiness and redness, and were perceived to appear more youthful and more attractive.
“We’ve observed that patients are less likely to have baggy or glassy eyes, and more likely to have a youthful, more energetic look after CPAP use,” said Dr. William Kohler, founder of The Florida Sleep Institute. That’s because when you’re well-rested, you tend to appear more alert, and also have less fluid retention around your face.
The findings are good news for anyone who suffers from sleep apnea, but it may be especially relevant for women who feel self-conscious about snoozing with their CPAP mask. “Some female patients don’t like the way they look with their mask. But now there are statistical findings that show you actually appear more attractive when you use the CPAP,” Kohler said.
Of course, the benefits of CPAP treatment are more than skin deep. Untreated sleep apnea can increase your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack and stroke. “All of these risks are eliminated or reduced with proper treatment, and CPAPs are the most effective,” Kohler said. Now that’s a beautiful thing.