Some Scientific Evidence For Beauty Sleep

Beauty sleep, it’s widely assumed, is one of those invented phenomena that parents use to ease their children’s passage to bedtime. After all, if sleeping had any real impact on beauty, bears, toads and frogs would be the handsomest creatures on the planet. But now a new study out of Sweden suggests there may be something to it after all. In the study, published Tuesday on, John Axelsson of the Karolinska Institute looked at the effect that sleep, or its lack, had on the way other people perceived the attractiveness of the sleeper. (More on Want to Drop a Few Pounds? Lie in Bed) Axelsson’s interest in the subject was partly inspired by a question from his young daughter about whether it was the long nap that made Sleeping Beauty so lovely. And, partly, it was that he saw a gap in the scholarship. “The field of sleep research is full of studies showing the physiological and cognitive consequences of disturbed sleep,” he says, “while there is clear lack of how poor sleep affects our everyday social life.” It’s estimated that about 40 million people suffer from chronic sleep disorders in the U.S. and a further 20 million have frequent problems sleeping. Even for good sleepers, with holiday and New Year’s celebrations oncoming, this is among the most slumber-deprived of seasons. (More on Why Americans Are Among the Most Sleepless People in the World) For the study, 23 participants, all between the prime partying ages of 18 to 31, were recruited. They were asked to sit for photographs in the afternoon, between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. This time “coincides with the afternoon dip, or siesta time, a time where most people are sleepier,” says Axelsson. And unlike office workers, the study volunteers were not allowed to consume a mid-afternoon caffeinated beverage to keep them going. Each photograph was identical — lit the same way, the same distance from the camera, with no makeup and natural hairstyles. The subjects were told to have a relaxed, neutral expression. … Continue reading Some Scientific Evidence For Beauty Sleep