Sleep Deprivation Makes You Ugly, Say Swedish Scientists

People were judged more attractive when they were well-rested (left) than when they were sleep-deprived (right). (British Medical Journal)
British Medical Journal
People were judged more attractive when they were well-rested (left) than when they were sleep-deprived (right). (British Medical Journal)
People were judged more attractive when they were well-rested (left) than when they were sleep-deprived (right). (British Medical Journal)


(CBS) Good genes and careful grooming can certainly make people attractive. But a new study from Sweden suggests there's another key ingredient for good looks:

Getting enough sleep.

When people are sleep-deprived, they not only look tired to the people around them, but also appear less healthy, and, yes, less attractive, according to the study by scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

"This suggest that humans are sensitive to sleep related facial cues, with potential implications for social and clinical judgments and behavior," the study's authors wrote.

In other words, if you want to look hot, hit the sack.

The scientists took photographs of 23 men and women between the ages of 18 and 31 after a normal night's sleep and again after a period of sleep deprivation. When they showed the photos to 65 "untrained observers," the result was clear: the sleepy-heads were deemed a lot less attractive.

The finding should be a wake-up call for the one in five Americans who routinely get less than six hours of sleep a night, said study leader John Axelsson, associate professor of clinical neuroscience at the institute, msnbc.com reported.

"A good night's sleep does not only improve your physiological health, it will also make you look healthier and more attractive, which in turn improves the chance of better treatments in a wide range of social situations," said Axelsson.

Can someone please hit the lights?