According to a new study in British Medical Journal, the concept of “beauty sleep” is real! The study found that sleep deprived people appear less healthy and less attractive compared with when they have a normal night’s sleep.
The study, conducted in Stockholm, Sweden, had 23 participants (age 18-31) who were photographed after a night of eight hours of sleep and then after sleep deprivation (31 hours of wakefulness after a night of reduced sleep). The photos were presented in a random order to observers (age 18-61) who rated the photos.
In total, 65 observers rated each of the 46 photographs for attractiveness, health and tiredness: 138 ratings by each observer and 2,990 ratings for each of the three factors rated.
Even though the differences were subtle, the sleep deprived photos of the participants were rated as less healthy, more tired and less attractive than the photos of them after a normal night’s sleep. The decrease in rated health “was associated with ratings of increased tiredness and decreased attractiveness,” according to the authors.
The authors concluded, “This suggests that humans are sensitive to sleep related facial cues, with potential implications for social and clinical judgments and behavior.”
The authors went on to say that the conclusions agree with existing models that describe a link between sleep and good health, “as well as a link between attractiveness and health.”
To read the full study, visit the British Medical Journal website.