GETTYGetting beauty sleep really does prevent us from becoming ugly, according to a new study.
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. Each person was given a kit to check how much they slept through the night and was instructed to monitor two good nights of sleep (sleeping 7-9 hours) and two bad nights of sleep (sleeping no longer than 4 hours max). They were then required to answer the question, 'How much would you like to socialise with this person in the picture?'
They also found that those rating "were less inclined to socialize with individuals who had gotten insufficient sleep", even rating them as less healthy than those who had slept properly.
"An unhealthy-looking face, whether due to sleep deprivation or otherwise, might activate disease-avoiding mechanisms in others", the researchers wrote in the study.
Next, the researchers showed the photos to a different set of 122 volunteers they called "raters". Not only that, but when people were exhausted, they were rated as less attractive and less healthy than when they were well rested.
"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. "If you can see someone hasn't slept, you'll have a good idea that they might not be the best person to be around".
Whilst there was no difference in perceived trustworthiness, the study suggested that "naturalistic sleep loss can be detected in a face and that people are less inclined to interact with a sleep-deprived individual".
'We want our partners to be attractive and energetic.
The researchers reckon that our exhausted faces make people think we're less healthy.
Not like we needed another excuse for a sleep in!
"Telling someone they look exhausted says more about your perception of them than you might think", the authors wrote. As it turns out, not getting enough sleep made participants score worse on all counts.