Everyone has heard the admonition that, if you do not get enough sleep, you won’t look as attractive. The idea of beauty rest has been around for years, but until recently nobody had thought to test it! However, the wait is over. We now have conclusive evidence about the efficacy of rest in causing beauty.
This finding is not about whether you look bad short term after a late night (everyone already knows the answer to that one), but rather, whether consistent sleep over the course of months affects appearance long term. Researchers at the University of Michigan used a new, state of the art facial analysis system called photogrammetry to apply objective ratings to faces based on the criteria of youthfulness and attractiveness to answer once and for all whether beauty sleep is a true phenomenon or an old wive’s tale.
The scientists took 20 patients suffering from sleep apnea, which is a condition that hinders breathing during sleep, and interferes with getting a full night of rest. Special photogrammetric pictures were taken before and after the treatment, and sure enough, the patients consistently rated more highly in both attractiveness and youthfulness after a course of treatment for sleep apnea. This suggests a strong correlation between consistently restful sleep and conventional attractiveness.
The study was born out of an informal observation that patients of sleep apnea treatment tended to become gradually more attractive during treatment. Scientists noticed that either they themselves noticed an improvement in the looks of patients, or patients would report having been complimented on their looks more after undergoing treatment. This inspired the researchers to take on a side project objectively rating the attractiveness before and after the treatment.
The researchers then teamed up with a reconstructive surgeon who was in expert in photogrammetry. This photographic technique produces perfectly consistent pictures under ideal conditions which can be used to measure tiny differences in appearance. This type of technique is perfect for making objective ratings of appearance, free of mitigating details like facial expression, lighting, and environment.
This study tells us conclusively that beauty rest is indeed important. Most doctors recommend between six and eight hours of sleep per night for an adult, and up to ten hours for children and adolescents. Getting those extra few hours of sleep will not only make you look better, but it will also make you more attractive!
If you are concerned with beauty, it turns out that sleep is one factor you should be very concerned about. If you have trouble falling asleep at the right time, it helps to turn off electronic devices two hours before your desired bed time. Try doing something relaxing, like reading a book, drawing, or listening to calming music. Using candles instead of electronic light can help, as can avoiding eating within a few hours of bed. Caffeine and alcohol should not be consumed anywhere near bed time for the best possible rest. Try to follow these tips every night. After all, you need your beauty sleep!