We’ve all been there. We’ve all, at one time or another, allowed ourselves to slip for a night or two in our sleeping habits. All it takes is a couple of nights without good sleep, and our moods quickly begin to suffer.
Most of us are familiar with this idea, after all, who among us is at their best when they are tired and stressed? However, what many people don’t realize, is that sleep deprivation can also affect the way you look, and in a much more dramatic way than you might think.
A few years ago, the journal Sleep published a small study which investigated how sleep deprivation affected the physical appearance of participants. They found that patients who were sleep deprived were much more likely to be described as looking ‘weary’. They also noted that their eyes were often more swollen, redder, and featured prominent dark patches beneath, when compared to the control group.
Our faces contain a wealth of information. When we meet another person for the first time, our brains very quickly make an assessment of them that is largely based on visual cues. What might seem like subtle, even imperceptible, changes to us, can have a significant influence on how we are perceived.
What Does This Mean for Me?
The lesson to take away from this study is that sleep deprivation can play a far greater role in determining our appearance than many of us appreciate. For those who take a great deal of care and pride in their look, this should serve as a warning to take your sleep hygiene seriously.
When we are sleep deprived, the resulting changes to our physical appearance can have an effect on the way that other people react to us. One researcher at Stockholm University, Tina Sundelin, notes that this was significant, not only in terms of our social interactions, but also our professional ones.
Appearing sleep deprived and weary at professional events and interviews can undermine you significantly. Even if neither you or the interviewer are consciously aware of it, your appearance can have a huge bearing on whether they ultimately consider you a viable candidate or not.
Avoiding Sleep Deprivation
The good news is that avoiding sleep deprivation, and therefore saving your looks, is easier than many people realize. Sure, many people are facing more pressures in their personal and professional lives than ever before. However, good sleep hygiene is more about common sense than any specialist knowledge.
Make sure that your sleeping environment is comfortable. If you are consistently having trouble getting to, or staying, asleep, it might be worth investing in a new mattress. If you are noticing that you often wake up feeling sore, this is the most likely reason why. Check out Sleep Sherpa for a range of mattresses to suit any bed.
As long as you make sure that you get the recommended amount of sleep every night, you shouldn’t have to worry about sleep deprivation. However, should you find yourself missing out on precious sleep, make sure that the next day you make up for the deficit.