No one would argue that a solid night’s rest is a requirement for a healthy lifestyle (especially our mothers, who are still wagging their fingers wishing we would go to bed already). But now, staying well-rested has been elevated from a “no, duh” issue to full on “NO, SERIOUSLY GUYS,” thanks to a recent study published in Sleep magazine. The scientific community has officially linked sleep deprivation to looking unattractive and visibly upset.
Doctoral candidate Tina Sundeli’s study involved photographing research subjects once after eight hours of sleep and then once after 31 hours awake. The photos were then rated by a 40-person panel in categories including “fatigue,” “sadness,” and ten other metrics of physical appearance.
In the study’s press release, Sundeli explains why the acknowledgement of this link enhances common sense. “Since faces contain a lot of information on which humans base their interactions with each other, how fatigued a person appears may affect how others behave toward them.”
Light-sleeping romancers, beware: Sundeli’s newest discovery arrives on the heels of other troubling news. Why are five hours sleep not good enough for a successful dating life? Oh, you know, only because sleep deprivation is known to make us incessantly crave fast food, forget when we’re supposed to meet for that thing, constantly complain about the cold, pass out while driving, and lose our steam in the bedroom. Only those things. No biggie.
There is one silver lining: Sleep deprivation can act as a antidepressant. Though when it comes to making your dates count, that prescribed eight hours of sleep should prove more beneficial than the perks of self-medicating.
Matt Patches is a writer and reporter living in New York City. His work has been featured on New York Magazine’s Vulture, Film.com, Hollywood.com, MTV, and he is the host of the pop culture podcast Operation Kino. He continues to love Groundhog Day.