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: The high cost of hot flashes: Millions in lost wages preventable

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

Team approach improves practice efficiency

25 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—The increasing administrative requirements of a medical practice are requiring a team-based approach to care, and physicians must learn to manage the team, according to an article published ...

Influence of migration on health

2 hours ago

Migration has a significant influence on the health sector, including in Austria. The healthcare sector faces challenges due to migrants' different social status, background and gender, as Christine Binder-Fritz ...

Uruguay begins registering marijuana growers

10 hours ago

Just a handful of people had registered by midday Wednesday to be private growers of marijuana in Uruguay, the first country to fully legalize the production, sale and distribution of the drug.

User comments : 0