May 26, 2017

Lack of sleep could be making you ugly

18 May 2017, 07:43 | Winifred Adams

GETTY- STOCK IMAGEEven losing a few hours a night can be detrimental to our physical appearance

GETTY- STOCK IMAGEEven losing a few hours a night can be detrimental to our physical appearance

Beauty sleep is officially a real thing, according to researchers who suggest that people who don't get a decent night's kip appear less attractive to others. They were given a kit to measure their night time movements, to check how long they have slept. Not only that, but when people were exhausted, they were rated as less attractive and less healthy than when they were well rested.

The results showed the strangers were able to capably recognize whether the volunteer had slept poorly and said they would be less willing to socialize with the person they had perceived as less healthy.

In a scientific study published by Royal Society Open Science journal and funded by Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, researchers photographed 25 participants after days of both restricted and normal sleep.

But sometimes we forget just how important sleep truly is, and need a little nudge from a different direction. They were asked to get two good nights' sleep, and then two bad nights of sleep (maximum 4 hours).

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A group of 122 strangers then rated the photos on how much they wanted to socialise with them. The strangers were good at judging if the person they were looking at was exhausted, and, if they were sleepy, their attractiveness score suffered. The Karolinska Institute researchers says this makes sense in evolutionary terms. Lead researcher Dr Tina Sundelin added: "I don't want to worry people or make them lose sleep over these findings though".

"Having an unhealthy-looking face, whether due to sleep deprivation or otherwise, might thus activate disease-avoidance mechanisms in others and render one's surroundings less socially inclined", the study said.

"Judgement of attractiveness is often unconscious, but we all do it, and we are able to pick up on even small cues like whether someone looks exhausted or unhealthy". The last thing we want when we're running on four hours of snoozing is a chatty Cathy strolling up to us and trying to make friends. Perhaps when we don't get enough sleep, that results in restricted blood flow to the skin, which in turn would make us look more pale and exhausted.

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