It may seem like common knowledge, but it’s officially true: You look better when you sleep well! Researchers at the University of Michigan recently used a scientific face-measuring system to determine the impact of CPAP treatment on the attractiveness of 20 participants suffering from sleep apnea.
Using a technique called photogrammetry – that is, taking photos of the subjects’ faces with a high-precision three-dimensional camera – the study sought to determine if two months of CPAP therapy could improve the participants’ looks.
The “before” and “after” photos were reviewed by 22 judges which included medical professionals and regular people. The judges found that the majority of participants looked more alert, attractive and youthful in their “after” images. It is believed that this increase in perceived attractiveness was due to facial changes associated with sleeping better – the participants had noticeably less redness under their eyes and over their cheeks.
Another study completed in Sweden specifically investigated the facial cues by which we recognize someone as sleep deprived. They found that the faces of sleep deprived individuals were characterized by having more hanging eyelids, redder and more swollen eyes, darker circles under the eyes, paler skin, more wrinkles/fine lines, and more droopy corners of the mouth.
The results of these studies don’t seem surprising since quality sleep is essential for cell rejuvenation and maintaing a healthy immune system. Without good sleep, aging skin and a less youthful appearance are bound to become more apparent.
While the importance of sleeping well goes beyond good looks, perhaps this is just a little extra incentive to make sleep a priority, and seek treatment for sleep disorders. Not only will you feel better and reduce your risk of devastating health conditions, you’ll look better too!