Beauty sleep? What does that mean? It is not surprising that now we've got the research to prove it: you look more attractive when you sleep well. In a small new study recently published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, scientists have found that several months of quality sleep -- meaning, sleep not interrupted by sleep apnea, heaving snoring, night sweats, hot flashes or other sleep issues -- made participants look younger and more attractive.
Researchers at the University of Michigan say that they are the first to use a scientific face-measuring system dubbed photogrammetry to objectively measure the youthfulness and attractiveness of 20 subjects who were being treated for insomnia. Digital photos of the study participants faces were taken with a high-precision camera before and after at least two months of sleep therapy. Then, 22 volunteers viewed the images paired side-by-side in random order and rated them for alertness, youthfulness and attractiveness. For the majority of subjects, the judges ranked the "after" image more attractive and younger than the "before" shot. Further review of the images found post-treatment decreases in forehead surface volume. This was interesting because it most likely showed the changes in nightly fluid shift, and decreased redness under the eyes and over the cheeks," the researchers wrote.
The good news is that the study results could be a huge motivator for the millions of people who have insomnia. In the US alone, it is estimated that up to 18 million adults suffer from untreated sleep issues, which can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and other ailments. A separate Swedish study announced earlier this month found that sleep-deprived people do in fact look rough, with redder, more swollen eyes, darker under-eye circles, more wrinkles and droopier eyelids and mouths than their well-rested selves. Study participants also looked sadder when sleep-deprived than after a normal sleep. So all you people searching for the fountain of youth. Perhaps the answer is just a night's sleep away.