Everyone knows the idea behind beauty sleep: Get your 7 to 8 hours or so of rest every night, and you’ll reap the benefits in both your overall health and appearance.
Despite sounding like an over-exaggerated concept, it turns out there’s quite a bit of scientific evidence to back up the belief that beauty sleep is important. Nobody likes to look tired — especially when others are keen to point it out by saying, “you look tired” — but there are other reasons to start prioritizing sleep in your daily schedule.
Here are just four science-backed reasons to get your beauty sleep!
1. People are more likely to avoid interacting with you when you’re sleep deprived.
In a recent study that looked at the negative effects of restricted sleep on facial appearance and social appeal, researchers discovered that a lack of sleep can make people look less attractive, which impacted their social lives. Twenty-five participants had their photos taken once after two consecutive nights of adequate sleep and then again after two consecutive nights of sleep that was limited to just four hours. Participants who were asked to judge both sets of photos ended up rating decreased levels of attractiveness for the participant photos that were sleep deprived and felt less inclined to interact with them compared to the participants in the well-rested photos.
2. Lack of sleep gives you more than just dark circles under your eyes.
Dark circles under the eyes are known to be caused by a lack of sleep, but that’s not all that’s seen in the eyes of people who are sleep deprived. In a different study, 10 participants were photographed once after eight hours of sleep and then again after being awake for 31 hours. The people who were asked to judge and rate the appearances of the participants’ faces in the photographs perceived the eyes of the sleep deprived faces as having more hanging eyelids, redness and swelling in addition to dark circles.
3. Your skin is affected by a lack of sleep.
In the same study mentioned above, the people who were asked to judge and rate the photos of the ten participants reportedly perceived paler skin and an increased number of wrinkles or fine lines in the sleep deprived faces. A 2013 study also found that sleep quality impacts the function and aging of the skin. Sixty women who reported poor quality sleep showed signs of premature skin aging and impaired recovery from skin stressors, such as sunburn from sun exposure.
4. You look sadder when you’re sleep deprived.
Referring back to the study mentioned in point number two, sleep deprived faces were judged as having droopier corners of the mouth in addition to the changes perceived in the eyes and skin. The judges also saw the sleep deprived faces as sadder than the well-rested faces, which was related to looking fatigued. Since sleep and mood are so closely connected, it’s possible that sleep deprivation could contribute to strong enough negative emotions that it actually shows on people’s faces.
Beauty sleep, it seems, is a real phenomenon that we should all probably take more seriously. After all, makeup, eye drops and a fake smile can only go so far!
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