News

Scientist: Too little sleep makes us unattractive to others


How does our sleep affect attractiveness?
Surely most people have heard the following saying: People need enough beauty sleep. Researchers have now found that adequate sleep can actually affect perceived attractiveness.

The researchers at the Karolinska Institute found that insufficient sleep made people less attractive to other people. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Royal Society Open Science journal".

Tired people are classified as less healthy and more accessible
If people do not sleep enough for a few nights, they appear uglier to other people, the experts claim. A few nights with insufficient sleep are sufficient for this effect. Dark circles and swollen eyelids can even lead to other people not wanting to make social contact with those affected. Affected people were considered less healthy and accessible by strangers due to their tired appearance.

Physicians check subjects' sleep
The study participants were equipped with a device that recorded their nightly movement habits. The researchers wanted to find out how the test subjects really slept. The participants were then asked to sleep sufficiently for two consecutive nights.

Experts take pictures of the tired test subjects
A week later, the subjects should only sleep four hours a night. This shortened sleep time should also be maintained for two consecutive nights. The scientists took makeup-free photos of the volunteers after both good and bad sleep.

Strangers had to rate photos of the participants for their attractiveness
Next, 122 strange women and men were asked to look at the photos and then rate them for attractiveness, health, sleepiness and trustworthiness. The strangers assessed tired and sleepy-looking people as unattractive, and the viewers of the photos did not want to socialize with the tired participants so much, the authors of the study explain.

Does the mechanism found protect against diseases?
The scientists found that the results found make sense from an evolutionary point of view. For example, an unhealthy looking face, whether due to sleep deprivation or otherwise, could activate disease-preventing mechanisms in humans. In other words, people don't want to have anything to do with people who make a sick impression on them.

Sleep is important for our health and attractiveness
The judgment about the perceived attractiveness is often made subconsciously. But even small hints as to whether a person looks tired or unhealthy are noticed by people, say the doctors. The results of her study are a good reminder of how important sleep is for people. (as)

Author and source information



Video: The Science of Dreaming (January 2022).