"This study indicates that restricted sleep affects facial appearance negatively and decreases others' willingness to socialize with the sleep-restricted person".
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. To ensure the students actually got the amount of sleep they said, a special movement detection kit was used.
The team, led by Dr. Tina Sundelin, asked 25 university students, who volunteered to participate in the experiment, to have two nights of ideal sleep in a row, before having their picture taken.
They were also asked if they would like to socialise with the person in the photo, the "Los Angeles Times" reported. As it turns out, not getting enough sleep made participants score worse on all counts.
People who don't get enough sleep look uglier, according to a new study. To make things worse, it also seems that people are much more likely to avoid contact with people who look sleep-deprived. Recent findings show that acute sleep deprivation and looking exhausted are related to decreased attractiveness and health, as perceived by others. They also assessed their attractiveness, health, sleepiness, and trustworthiness.
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This makes a lot of sense in evolutionary terms. The strangers also said they would be less likely to socialise with the sleepy participants because they looked unhealthy.
So as far as attractiveness is concerned, beauty sleep should be making a resurgence.
Next, the researchers showed the photos to a different set of 122 volunteers they called "raters".
"People seem to be able to tell when someone needs more sleep, and are more inclined to leave them alone in that case", the authors wrote in the new work.
The study was well-received in the community.
Dr Gayle Brewer, a psychology expert at the University of Liverpool and member of the British Psychological Association, 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'. Because we've evolved to try to avoid diseases, seeing an unhealthy-looking face makes us want to avoid that person. 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.