December 18, 2010

Sleep Deprivation can kill (and, more importantly, it makes you look ugly!)

So in addition to the much studied ill-effects of sleep deprivation on health, a new Swedish study confirms the commonly held belief in beauty sleep. So, yet again scientific studies tell us something we already know. Is this just so that mothers of teenagers have scientific evidence when they tell their kids it's not good to stay up all night? Maybe, in addition to time constraints, this explains the relative decrease in activity on likealittle during exams...not that I've ever looked there. What an interesting concept.

Anyway here's one more reason to get a good night's sleep.

Beauty sleep concept is not a myth, says study
By Helen Briggs

Sleep experiment

Related stories
The idea of people needing "beauty sleep" has acquired some scientific backing, according to a Swedish study.
People deprived of sleep for long periods appear less attractive and more unhealthy than those who are well rested, say researchers.
Volunteers were photographed after eight hours sleep and again after being kept awake for 31 hours.
Observers scored the sleep-deprived participants as less healthy and less attractive, the BMJ reports.
The concept of beauty sleep is well known.
But, according to researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, it has lacked scientific support.
The team asked untrained observers to rate the faces of 23 young men and women who had been photographed after a normal night's sleep and then after a night of sleep deprivation.
The photographs were standardised so that people were the same distance from the camera, wore no make-up and used the same expression.
The authors wrote in their paper published in the British Medical Journal: "Sleep deprived people are perceived as less attractive, less healthy and more tired compared with when they are well rested."
They say the results may be useful in a medical setting, helping doctors to pick up signs of ill-health in their patients.
Commenting on the study, Derk-Jan Dijk, Professor of Sleep and Physiology at the Surrey Sleep Research Centre, said the effects of sleep loss on beauty may be even more dramatic than the photographs show.
He said: "The photographs were taken during the daytime when the biological clock promotes wakefulness.
"Can you imagine how sleep loss makes you look at night or early in the morning when the circadian clock (body clock) promotes sleep?"


  1. the sleep deprived face looks most handsome to me tho...

  2. maggie.danhakl@healthline.comSeptember 20, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Hi Geoff,

    I hope all is well with you. Healthline just published an infographic detailing the effects of sleep deprivation on the body. This is an interactive chart allowing the reader to pick the side effect they want to learn more about.

    You can see the overview of the report here:

    Our users have found our guide very useful and I thought it would be a great resource for your page:

    I would appreciate it if you could review our request and consider adding this visual representation of sleep deprivation to your site or sharing it on your social media feeds.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    All the best,
    Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager

    Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
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