Still having trouble finding your soulmate, despite the killer pickup lines we gave you? Well, have you tried sleeping?
Researchers instructed 12 men and 12 women to sleep for less than five hours at home. The next day, the participants came into a lab, where they weren’t allowed to sleep at all. After 31 hours without sleep, pictures were taken of each person.
A group of 65 outside observers then judged these photos alongside those of people who had slept for eight hours. Those deprived of sleep were judged to be less healthy and less attractive.
Isn’t that obvious, though? John Axelsson, the study’s leader, doesn’t think so:
People who look tired may work more and earn more money. I assumed tiredness was related to healthiness, but I did not think it would be related to attractiveness.
While the apparent differences between the sleep-deprived and the well-rested were minuscule, according to Axelsson people subconsciously picked up on the variations:
They are small signals, but if you spend a few seconds looking at a face, you instinctively read them. These are judgments you make about people without thinking.
And this might have an evolutionary advantage. An attractive face is a sign of good health, which could trigger sexual attraction that might lead to a choice of a mate and, ultimately, a successful transmission of genes. So, as Jeremy Laurence of the Independent, put it:
A good night’s sleep before a date could mean the difference between a lifetime’s happiness and a taxi home alone.
Yep, he went there. So do yourself a favor and get some sleep. You don’t really want to spend the rest of your life alone, do you?