Beauty sleep is real: Study shows little sleep makes you less attractive

Beauty sleep is real: Study shows little sleep makes you less attractive

Two consecutive nights of restricted sleep could be enough to make someone appear less attractive to others, as well as making people less interested in hanging out with them, according to a joint study from New York University and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

Researchers recruited 25 university students, both male and female, to participate in a sleep experiment. The strangers also said they would be less willing to socialise with the exhausted students, who they also perceived to be less healthy, Royal Society Open Science journal reports.

"An unhealthy-looking face, whether due to sleep deprivation or otherwise, might activate disease-avoiding mechanisms in others", the researchers wrote in the study. "This suggests that one might also avoid contact with sleep-deprived, or sleepy-looking, individuals, as a strategy to reduce health risk and poor interactions".

"Sleep deprivation is associated with a wide variety of physiological changes, such as impaired immune function, reduced cardiovascular health, and even impaired glucose metabolism", she says, which is why people who are sleep deprived can be viewed as less healthy. These people were asked to rate the subjects on attractiveness, health, sleepiness and trustworthiness.

Although previous research has shown 31 hours of wakefulness resulted in a less attractive appearance, in everyday life it is more common to experience partial sleep loss, she said. In other words, people don't want to hang around with people who might be ill, whereas someone who looks energetic and fit will hold lots of appeal.




But lead researcher Dr Tina Sundelin added: "I don't want to worry people or make them lose sleep over these findings". "Most people can cope just fine if they miss out on a bit of sleep now and again". They were also asked how likely they would be to socialize with the participants.

Nevertheless, it might be a good idea to try and get the recommended eight hours of sleep whenever possible.

"Telling someone they look exhausted says more about your perception of them than you might think", the authors wrote.

It's good to know you've got options if you've had a few rough nights, but Sundelin still encourages you to prioritize getting more sleep.

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