Bad sleep makes you ugly

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

Beauty sleep is a real thing, scientists studying the "negative effects of restricted sleep on facial appearance and social appeal" have found. And that's not all.

A week later, they were asked to restrict themselves to a measly four hour's sleep for two nights in a row.

Researchers took makeup-free photos of the participants after both sessions and asked 122 men and women to rate their attractiveness, sleepiness, health and trustworthiness.

Respondents, who were "less inclined to socialize with individuals who had gotten insufficient sleep", even rated the sleep-deprived students less healthy than their well-slept counterparts.

The strangers were good at judging if the person they were looking at was exhausted, and, if they were sleepy, their attractiveness score suffered. A couple of bad nights is enough to make a person look "significantly" more ugly, their sleep experiments suggest.

"A healthy, attractive face is characterized by a certain degree of redness, which in turn is indicative of increased vasodilation and vascularization", they write.




Unsurprisingly, insufficient sleep can take its toll on our appearance, with puffy eyes and a tiresome complexion being two of the tell-tale signs of a bad night's slumber - and, according to the new study, these effects do not go unnoticed by others.

The team also found willingness to socialise with a sleepy-looking person was much lower than with someone who looked alert.

'An unhealthy-looking face, whether due to sleep deprivation or otherwise, might activate disease-avoiding mechanisms in others, ' say the researchers. The Royal Society Open Science journal also found people viewed the more tired individuals as less attractive. If you're struggling to get enough sleep, she recommends stopping work on your phone or computer an hour before bed, keeping your bedroom just for sleeping, and trying to have regular sleep hours.

But lead researcher Dr Tina Sundelin added: "I don't want to worry people or make them lose sleep over these findings".

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

As a result, they were less attractive to potential partners and less likely to be chosen by friends and colleagues to socialise with.

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