07 Jun Before you post your pic on Tinder… think twice and get some sleep!
One article published last month in Royal Society Open Science evaluated “the negative effects of restricted sleep on facial appearance and social appeal” and they found that lack of sleep can make people appear less attractive to others, as well as to less healthy.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether a more naturalistic sleep restriction—4 h in bed for two nights—is enough to affect how one is perceived, specifically regarding attractiveness, perceived health and sleepiness of someone’s face. The authors wanted to know whether a decreased willingness to socialise with sleepy people might be based on their being less attractive and looking less healthy, or possibly less trustworthy.
Twenty-five university students were asked to get a good night’s sleep for two nights in a row. Following this, they were photographed by the researchers. A week later, they were asked to restrict themselves to a small four hours of sleep for two nights in a row. Once again they were photographed. Fifty facial photos were analysed (two of each subject, one from each condition) showing the two sets of photographs to 122 strangers, asking them a range of questions regarding (How much would you like to socialize with this person? Not at all –Very much), trustworthiness (How trustworthy is this person? Very untrustworthy–Very trustworthy), attractiveness (How attractive is this person? Very unattractive–Very attractive). Health (How is this person’s health? Very poor–Very good) and sleepiness (How sleepy is this person? Very sleepy–Extremely alert).
The results showed that people were less inclined to socialise with individuals who had not had insufficient sleep. Additionally, when sleep-restricted, participants were perceived as less attractive, less healthy and more sleepy. There was no difference in perceived trustworthiness. The researchers said that the 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.
Many things have been said about the benefits that a good night’s sleep brings to people’s lives. The benefits are seen in our heart, brain, weight, mind, and sense of humour. Humans are social creatures by nature and value how they are perceived by their peers, therefore, this article can serve as a valuable reminder that in the era of selfies a good night’s sleep is essential to show the world how healthy, active and fantastically attractive we are!
- Negative effects of restricted sleep on facial appearance and social appeal. Tina Sundelin, Mats Lekander, Kimmo Sorjonen, John Axelsson. R. Soc. open sci. 2017 4 160918; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160918. Published 17 May 2017. Available: http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royopensci/4/5/160918.full.pdf
- Felton James. Lack Of Sleep Really Does Make You Less Attractive, Study Suggests. Available: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/lack-of-sleep-really-does-make-you-less-attractive-study-suggests/