Looking For Love? Sleep On It

Swedish researchers have found that when you are sleep deprived, you may be viewed as less attractive and others will be less willing to socialize with you. Not looking for romance? Shorting yourself on sleep can have implications in any setting where social support matters, including the workplace.

The research, titled “An experimental study on the perceived health and attractiveness of sleep-deprived individuals” was presented at the 21st Congress of the European Sleep Research Society in Paris. Study subjects were photographed in a controlled setting on two occasions -- after two nights of normal sleep (eight hours in bed each night) and after two nights when they were restricted to no more than four hours of shut-eye.

A group of 40 raters were then asked to rate the photos on a Likert scale -- the most widely used scientific measurement of attitudes. Results? The sleep-deprived study participants were rated as less attractive, and the raters were also less interested in socializing with those who were short on ZZZZs. (Perhaps because instinctively, we recoil a bit from folks who look unwell.)

Most of us can cope with the occasional sleep shortage, even if we do look a little worse for wear the next morning. But when sleep-starved nights become your norm, that might mean that you’re not only weary, but lonelier than you need to be.

So do all you can to get regular, steady sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene, turn off the tube early, and turn in on a comfortable natural mattress to increase your chances of longer, sounder sleep. You’ll feel better, look better, and it just might make you luckier in love.