Forget lotions and potions. Don’t bother with a new dress or hairstyle. The best way to improve your looks is to treat yourself to some good old-fashioned beauty sleep.
Those who manage eight hours a night look far more attractive than those who are sleep deprived, according to scientists.
Twenty-three healthy young adults were photographed after a good night’s sleep, and again after much less.
Each picture was then rated on an attractiveness scale of one to ten by members of the public. And the well-rested won hands down.
Young women who took part in the study were not allowed to use make up and had to wear their hair down for both photos, just in case a particular style was slightly more flattering.
On the first night they slept in their own homes and were told to go to bed at 11pm and set their alarms for 7am. On the second night they were allowed to sleep no more than five hours and were monitored in the laboratory to ensure they did not get any more. The result? They looked much worse after less sleep.
‘Sleep deprived people are perceived as less attractive and less healthy compared with when they are well rested,’ said the study, which was published in the BMJ and carried out at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
‘Apparent tiredness was strongly related to looking less healthy and less attractive.’
Although the notion of beauty sleep has often been dismissed as a myth, research is growing that shows sleep really can enhance your appearance.
Sleep has also been shown to reduce wrinkles in the face and neck. This is because when we are asleep we sweat more, and this moisture on the skin smooths out any lines.
Experts recommend at least seven hours a night but the average Briton manages little more than six.