There’s no hiding the puffy undereyes and dark circles that can come with a restless night of sleep, but according to a recent study published in Royal Society Open Science and conducted by The Karolinska Institute, not getting enough sleep for a couple of nights is enough to make you look “significantly” less attractive—as well as less healthy and sociable—to those around you as well, no matter how well you think you’re hiding it.
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The study involved 25 participants who were restricted of sleep for two days. Each one was photographed before this restriction when they were well-rested, and again when they were tired. These photographs were then rated by 122 people on their attractiveness, as well as their health level, sleepiness, trustworthiness and how much they would like to socialize with each participant. The results showed that raters were less likely to socialize with those who had gotten insufficient sleep and who looked tired. These same participants were perceived as “less attractive, less healthy and more sleepy,” though there was no difference in perceived trust. The findings suggest that “naturalistic sleep loss can be detected in a face” and that people are less inclined to interact with a sleep-deprived individual.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults aged 26–64 should get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night while those aged 65 and up should get seven to eight hours of sleep per night. If you’re not hitting these numbers, you may want to reconsider—while you may think your concealer is doing an adequate job of covering up your circles and faking that full night of sleep, your peers are seeing right through it (and the effects may be long-term).
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