Sleeping beauties: Research shows snoozing less harms your social life

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People missing out on much-needed sleep are not only less appealing to socialize with but are also more likely to be considered less attractive too, new research suggests.

Psychologists found back to back nights without the appropriate rest would be enough to encourage others to stay away.

"If someone looks less healthy, you are more likely to withdraw from them," Tina Sundelin, doctor and lead researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, told The Guardian.

"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.

The researchers recruited 25 university students, some male and female, to take part in the sleep experiment. All of the paid volunteers were asked to measure their night time movements with specialist equipment each evening.

The volunteers photographed themselves, make-up free, after getting a good night's sleep for two consecutive nights before taking pictures once again after only having four hours sleep for two nights in a row the following week.

The Karolinska Institute then invited 122 strangers from Sweden's capital city to rate the photos of the participants on attractiveness, trustworthiness, health and sleepiness.

The results showed the strangers were able to capably recognize whether the volunteer had slept poorly and said they would be less willing to socialize with the person they had perceived as less healthy. The Royal Society Open Science journal also found people viewed the more fatigued individuals as less attractive.

Get more sleep

"An unhealthy-looking face, whether due to sleep deprivation or otherwise, might activate disease-avoiding mechanisms in others," the researchers said.

"Raters were much more willing to socialize with someone they considered attractive than someone unattractive, and attractive people looked substantially healthier," the researchers added.

According to the U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS), most adults need to get between six and nine hours sleep every night.

The NHS website lists numerous health benefits for getting forty winks each evening and suggested for those missing out, there is said to be only one way to compensate - get more sleep.