Scientists in Sotckholm have found that not sleeping enough makes people less attractive and sociable.
Findings published on Wednesday indicated people are less likely to avoid eye contact with those who show signs of sleep deprivation.
The study reported that this is a strategy to avoid health risks and poor interactions.
The research involved 25 male and female university students who were photographed after two days of sleep restriction and normal sleep.
Participants were asked to get a good night’s sleep for two consecutive nights and restrict it to four hours a night a week later, for another two nights in a row.
Researchers then took make-up free photos of them after both sessions. The photos were rated by 122 people on how much they would like to socialise with participants. Attractiveness, health, sleepiness and trustworthiness were also rated.
The researchers found people less willing to socialise with sleep-deprived subjects, whom they also found less healthy and less attractive.
Professor John Axelsson, co-author of the study, said people in the study were less likely to socialise with tired-looking women.
“If someone looks tired, they look less interested in being with you and as if they would rather be asleep or alone," he said. “They are a risk factor, in that they probably won’t be as good at collaborating and could make mistakes or cause accidents.”
The researchers said this might also have to do with evolution.
“An unhealthy-looking face, whether due to sleep deprivation or otherwise, might activate disease-avoiding mechanisms in others," said Axelsson.
But lead researcher Dr Tina Sundelin added: “I don’t want to worry people or make them lose sleep over these findings. Most people can cope just fine if they miss out on a bit of sleep now and again.”
Nevertheless, it might be a good idea to try and get the recommended eight hours of sleep whenever possible.
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