Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Medical | By Sammy Miller

Want to be socially more appealing? Ensure you don't look exhausted

Want to be socially more appealing? Ensure you don't look exhausted

The study found that after only two nights of shorter-than-normal sleep, people are not only viewed by others as being less attractive and less healthy than after they are fully rested, they are also seen as less appealing to socialize with.

The eye-opening study was conducted by the Karolinska Institute, which asked 25 university students to take part.

The volunteers photographed themselves, make-up free, after getting a good night's sleep for two consecutive nights before taking pictures once again after only having four hours sleep for two nights in a row the following week.

Here's what they discovered: People were less inclined to want to socialize with those who hadn't gotten enough sleep.

The study discovered that people started to look more exhausted and unhealthy when their sleep was halved for just two nights.

Next, the researchers showed the photos to a different set of 122 volunteers they called "raters". They also considered the poorly rested subjects to be less attractive, less healthy and more sleepy compared to when they were well rested.

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The effect of sleep deprivation on other people's desire to socialize with that person was small, but still significant, according to the study's authors. The data also demonstrated that they were also less willing to socialise with those who had not slept well.

The team discovered that the strangers successfully identified whether subjects on photos were sleep deprived.

Whilst there was no difference in perceived trustworthiness, the study suggested that "naturalistic sleep loss can be detected in a face and that people are less inclined to interact with a sleep-deprived individual". They also asked them, 'How much would you like to socialise with this person in the picture?'

You know that it's important to get a good night's sleep, and odds are you probably try to do the best that you can.

"We want our partners to be attractive and energetic", he added.

The strangers were good at judging if the person they were looking at was exhausted, and, if they were sleepy, their attractiveness score suffered. If you're struggling to get enough sleep, she recommends stopping work on your phone or computer an hour before bed, keeping your bedroom just for sleeping, and trying to have regular sleep hours.

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