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How Does Sleep Affect Your Looks?

September 16, 2013

It is often humorously referred to as beauty sleep, but some of the latest finding in the sleep study field have found that there is more to this saying than originally thought. 

You've probably seen a sleep-deprived, swollen eyed face staring back at you in the mirror after a late night out, but did you also know that you will also often look sadder when sleep deprived? In fact, according to Tina Sundelin, author and doctoral student in the department of psychology at Stockholm University in Sweden “faces contain a lot of information on which humans base their interactions with each other, how fatigued a person appears may affect how others behave toward them".

She further went on to add that "this is relevant not only for private social interactions, but also official ones such as with healthcare professionals and in public safety".

To conduct their research, Sundelin and a team from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm recruited 10 subjects, who were photographed on two separate occasions: after eight hours of normal sleep and after 31 hours of sleep deprivation. Forty participants then rated the 20 facial photographs with respect to various facial cues, fatigue, and sadness. 

Want to know more? You can read the original study document here.

Can you sleep yourself beautiful?

According to WebMD and the Mayo Clinic if you struggle with getting quality beauty sleep you need to change your sleeping habits. This includes sticking to a regular sleep schedule (even on weekends), eat well, and avoiding caffeine in the evenings or overeating before bedtime. It might not make you more beautiful in a purely cosmetic sense, but it might just change the way people perceive you. 

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