The key to being attractive (and looking healthy)? A good night's sleep

Dec 15, 2010

If you want to look attractive and healthy, the best thing you can do is get a good night's sleep, finds research in the Christmas issue published in the British Medical Journal today.

For the first time, say the authors, there is scientific backing for the concept of beauty .

The study, led by John Axelsson from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, investigated the relationship between sleep and perceptions of attractiveness and health. The authors believe this research is important in today's 24 hour society with the number of people suffering from and disturbed sleep on the rise.

Twenty-three participants between the ages of 18 to 31 took part in the study. They were photographed between 2pm and 3pm on two occasions, once after normal sleep and once after being deprived of sleep. were excluded from the research and no alcohol was allowed for two days prior to the experiment.

The photographs were taken in a well-lit room and the distance to the camera was fixed. During both photography sessions participants wore no make-up, had their hair loose (combed back if they had long hair) and underwent similar cleaning or shaving procedures. They were asked to have a relaxed, neutral facial expression for both photos.

Sixty-five observers, who were blinded to the sleep status of the subjects, rated the photographs for attractiveness and whether the individuals looked healthy/unhealthy or tired/not tired.

The observers judged the faces of sleep-deprived participants as less healthy, less and more tired.

The authors conclude that the facial signals of sleep deprived people affect facial appearance and judgments of attractiveness, health and tiredness.

Explore further: FDA cautions against 'undeclared' food allergens

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sleep gives way for work and play

Aug 31, 2007

U.S. workers squeeze more hours into their workday and still find time to play by cutting back on sleep, a new study found.

Night shift nurses more likely to have poor sleep habits

Jun 11, 2007

Nurses who work the night shift are more likely to have poor sleep habits, a practice that can increase the likelihood of committing serious errors that can put the safety of themselves as well as their patients at risk, ...

Older people may need less sleep, study finds

Jul 24, 2008

Along with all the other changes that come with age, healthy older people also lose some capacity for sleep, according to a new report published online on July 24th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. When asked ...

Recommended for you

Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?

24 minutes ago

Hoping for sex with two women is common but fantasizing about golden showers is not. That's just one of the findings from a research project that scientifically defines sexual deviation for the first time ever. It was undertaken ...

AMA 'Code of Ethics' offers guidance for physicians

6 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Ethics and other articles provide guidance for physicians in relation to public health emergencies, according to a report from the AMA.

Pot-infused edibles: One toke over the line in Colorado?

10 hours ago

Marijuana shops have sprouted across Denver ever since Colorado legalized the drug for adults in January, but the popularity of pot-infused edibles has surprised authorities, and parents are seeking a ban ahead of Halloween.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.