People tend to look less attractive and healthy when sleep-deprived (left) than when well-rested (right), a new study shows.


 Courtesy Tina Sundelin





 By Amanda Gardner

TUESDAY, December 14 ( — A good night's sleep tends to leave you feeling refreshed, alert, and upbeat. According to a new study, it may also make you look healthier and more attractive to others.

To test whether there's a grain of truth in the notion of "beauty sleep," researchers in Sweden took photographs of 23 men and women ages 18 to 31 after they'd slept for eight hours. They then repeated the process, except this time the researchers kept the volunteers up for 31 hours straight after allowing them to sleep for just five hours the previous night. (For both snapshots, participants were instructed to wear no makeup, keep their hair loose, and perform the same grooming beforehand.)

When the researchers mixed up all the photos and asked 65 people to rate how attractive, tired, and healthy the study participants looked, the photographs of the well-rested people scored significantly higher. Compared to their well-rested selves, the sleep-deprived people were judged to look 19% more tired, 6% less healthy, and 4% less attractive.





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