Lack of sleep makes you less attractive, study finds

Posted May 20, 2017

The findings underscore the link between sleep, attractiveness and a healthy appearance, suggesting that beauty sleep really is a thing.

According to researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and New York University in the U.S. said,"People seem to be able to tell when someone needs more sleep, and are more inclined to leave them alone in that case".

The volunteers photographed themselves, make-up free, after getting a good night's sleep for two consecutive nights before taking pictures once again after only having four hours sleep for two nights in a row the following week. Then, they asked 65 women to rate the study's participants on how much they'd like to socialise with them, as well as attractiveness, health, sleepiness, and trustworthiness.

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Swedish scientists have found that people who get two night's poor sleep appear less attractive to others. "An unhealthy-looking face, whether due to sleep deprivation or otherwise, might activate disease-avoiding mechanisms in others", they wrote.

Next, the researchers recruited 122 adults - referred to as "raters" - and asked them view each photograph. People were rated by strangers as less healthy and approachable when they had exhausted faces.

The effect of sleep deprivation on other people's desire to socialize with that person was small, but still significant, according to the study's authors.

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If the person looked exhausted, they were marked less on attractiveness. However, plenty of people fall short of getting as much sleep as they need - Gallup reports that 42 percent of adults in the USA don't get enough shut-eye. Researchers also asked, "How much would you like to socialize with this person in the picture?" On average, the students slept a total of seven hours less over the two restricted-sleep sessions. However, Dr Sundelin also pointed out, "I don't want to worry people or make them lose sleep over these findings though".

"The reasons for avoiding people who look sleepy may include the fact that sleepy individuals are at a higher risk for accidents, more prone to be carriers of contagious pathogens or aspects making them less socially rewarding to be around".

However, statistics show that around 1 in 3 adults in the United States fail to get the recommended minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night.

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