Sleep. We all want more of it. In fact, more than a third of Americans aren’t getting enough time with their pillow according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But could our late nights and early mornings actually be making us less attractive?
According to new research published in the Royal Society Open Science journal, a couple of late nights and poor sleeping pattern can make some look “significantly” more unattractive.
The researchers at Stockholm University asked 25 students, both male and female, to be photographed after two nights of good sleep and then after two nights of bad sleep. Bad sleep being defined as four hours or less.
These photographs were then judged by 122 members of the public. Each person was asked to rate them on attractiveness, health, sleepiness and trustworthiness as well as being asked: “How much would you like to socialize with this person in the picture?”
The public were good at quickly guessing the sleep-deprived images and perceptions of attractiveness and health suffered as a result. They were also less likely to socialize with the tired looking students. Interestingly, there was no difference in trustworthiness between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ images.
“These findings suggest that naturalistic sleep loss can be detected in a face and that people are less inclined to interact with a sleep-deprived individual,” researchers said.
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A few different conclusions were made why this was happening. One school of thought is that it might just be our cave-woman mind. A tired looking face may spark disease-avoiding mechanisms in the brain. Another theory is that our desire for a healthy and energetic partner make us avoid those sporting an unhealthy-looking face.
So, how much sleep should we be getting? Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, for adults the average is between 7-9 hours per night. There are many factors that impact this, caffeine intake and overall health, to name a few.
In many cases, it comes down to self-assessment of lifestyle. For example, if you feel productive, happy and energised on just 7 hours’ sleep, then you’re probably doing just fine. However, if you rely on a cup of Joe every morning to keep you awake, then it might be time to revisit your sleep schedule and get in a few more hours’ kip.
Our choices play a part and you can make small changes to ensure you feel more awake in the morning. Something as simple as drinking a large glass of water first thing can help you feel instantly energetic.
It isn’t enough to try and stay awake in the morning, however. Sleep is king and an important part of your health. Many studies have linked a lack of sleep to many serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. It’s during those 7-9 hours that your body is repairing all the damage done during your waking hours.
So, make sure you’re getting your beauty sleep, ladies.