Scientists uncover some truth to 'beauty sleep' concept
Published 15/12/2010 | 05:00
The key to looking attractive and healthy is as simple as a good night's sleep, new research suggests.
Experts say they have uncovered the first scientific backing for the concept of "beauty sleep".
Such an expression reveals that "an individual's sleep history may play an integral part in the perception and judgements of his or her attractiveness and health", they said.
The team, from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, recruited 23 healthy adults aged between 18 and 31.
Smokers were excluded from the research and no alcohol was allowed for two days prior to the experiment.
The participants were photographed after eight hours of sleep, and then again after a period of sleep deprivation.
The photographs were standardised, meaning the people were the same distance from the camera, wore no make-up and wore the same expression.
The pictures were then presented in a random order to 65 untrained observers, who ranked the participants on a scale according to how healthy, attractive or sleep-deprived they looked.
The results showed that those who were sleep-deprived were rated as less healthy. They were also seen as more tired and less attractive.
Writing online in the 'British Medical Journal', the team concluded: "Our findings show that sleep-deprived people appear less healthy, less attractive, and more tired compared with when they are well rested."