Beauty sleep, it’s widely assumed, is one of those invented phenomena that parents use to ease their children’s passage to bedtime. After all, if sleeping had any real impact on beauty, bears, toads and frogs would be the handsomest creatures on the planet. But now a new study out of Sweden suggests there may be something to it after all.
In the study, published Tuesday on BMJ.com, John Axelsson of the Karolinska Institute looked at the effect that sleep, or its lack, had on the way other people perceived the attractiveness of the sleeper.
Axelsson’s interest in the subject was partly inspired by a question from his young daughter about whether it was the long nap that made Sleeping Beauty so lovely. And, partly, it was that he saw a gap in the scholarship. “The field of sleep research is full of studies showing the physiological and cognitive consequences of disturbed sleep,” he says, “while there is clear lack of how poor sleep affects our everyday social life.”
Full story: Some scientific evidence for beauty sleep