Surprising? Sleep is Essential for Making a Good Impression

Surprising? Sleep is Essential for Making a Good Impression
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If you’re the friend who likes to cut out a little early to make sure you get enough sleep, some may consider you a lightweight; but there’s a good chance you look better than your night owl pals. A study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science suggests that not getting enough winks can affect your appearance, and not just how baggy your eyes look.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute had 25 students, male and female, participate in a sleep experiment in which each individual used a kit to check how much sleep they got each night. The participants photographed themselves without makeup on, both after two nights of good sleep (7-9 hours) and after two nights of poor sleep (4 hours or less). [1] [2]

Read: A Good Night’s Sleep Is Vital for Memory Formation

The students were photographed after each night of sleep, and the pictures were shown to another group of 122 men and women living in Stockholm, Sweden, who were asked to rate the participants based on attractiveness, health, sleepiness, and trustworthiness. [3]

As you might have guessed, those who got the least amount of sleep were ranked lower in all categories. And in a kick to the gut, those in the observation group said they’d be less likely to socialize with the sleep-deprived participants.

So, if you look like you just rolled out of bed and got hit by a Mack truck, forget having a social life. Nice.

OK, maybe that’s being a little too harsh.

The researchers concluded:

“Findings show that acute sleep deprivation and looking tired are related to decreased attractiveness and health, as perceived by others.” [1]

Natural Society

Read: How Sleep Directly Affects Your Metabolism

The scientists think the reason people don’t want to interact with someone who looks tired and worn out is based in evolutionary science, as “an unhealthy-looking face, whether due to sleep deprivation or otherwise” indicates that person might not be healthy.

This doesn’t make you a bad person, according to Gayle Brewer, Ph.D., a psychology expert not associated with the study. It’s just nature doing its job.

“Judgment 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 tired or unhealthy.” [1]

In case you’ve never been in the company of tired people, let me bring you up to speed: They’re usually not the most pleasant people in the world to hang out with, regardless of how put-together they may appear.

The team wrote:

“An unhealthy-looking face, whether due to sleep deprivation or otherwise, might activate disease-avoiding mechanisms in others.” [2]

Dr. Tina Sundelin, who led the research, said you shouldn’t lose sleep over how you look after not getting enough Z’s. It’s usually a temporary problem.

“Most people can cope just fine if they miss out on a bit of sleep now and again.” [3]

Sources:

[1] Shape

[2] CNBC

[3] Refinery 29