Your lack of sleep is making you ugly

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They were given a kit to measure their night time movements, to check how long they have slept.

The strangers were very capable of telling when the people in the photos were exhausted. Researchers also asked, "How much would you like to socialize with this person in the picture?"

In a scientific study published by Royal Society Open Science journal and funded by Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, researchers photographed 25 participants after days of both restricted and normal sleep. It can even put people off socialising with you, reports the BBC. "This is a clear illustration that reduced sleep may also have serious social consequences".

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"If you can see someone hasn't slept, you'll have a good idea that they might not be the best person to be around", she added. As it turns out, not getting enough sleep made participants score worse on all counts.

The study discovered that sleep deprivation and looking exhausted not only have a direct relationship to health and attractiveness, but people are less likely to interact with someone who looks exhausted and unhealthy.

The researchers then showed these photos to 122 strangers and asked them to rate the people in the photos in terms of attractiveness, sleepiness, trustworthiness, health, and how approachable they were.

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"Having an unhealthy-looking face, whether due to sleep deprivation or otherwise, might thus activate disease-avoidance mechanisms in others and render one's surroundings less socially inclined", the study said. "These findings suggest that ... people are less inclined to interact with a sleep-deprived individual", researchers concluded in the paper. "Most people can cope just fine if they miss out on a bit of sleep now and again".

"Judgement of attractiveness is often unconscious, but we all do it, and we are able to pick up on even small cues like whether someone looks exhausted or unhealthy". "We want our partners to be attractive and energetic".

The study sample size was small and there's still a lot more research to be done when it comes to determining how important those 7-8 hours of sleep really are, but we can always get behind another reason to catch up on some much-needed zzz's.

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