Fatigues may always be in fashion, but fatigue will never be. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, nearly one-third of Americans get insufficient sleep. However, a new study from the department of psychology at Stockholm University, suggests that a lack of zzz’s affects more than your ability to function– it also affects the way others see you.
Looks like the adage about getting your beauty sleep might actually be true.
“Other people might treat you differently because of the way you look when you haven’t slept,” said lead study author Tina Sundelin.
For the report, published in the September issue of Sleep, the team of researchers took photos of 10 people after 8 hours of sleep and again after 31 hours of not sleeping. The researchers then showed the photos to 40 people, ages 18 to 40, who evaluated them based on 10 facial cues, and fatigue and sadness. These cues included: dark circles under the eyes, red eyes, glazed eyes, hanging eyelids, swollen eyelids, pale skin, wrinkles/fine lines, rash/eczema, corners of the mouth pointing down, and tense lips.
The study found that 7 of the 10 people were judged to look significantly more fatigued when sleep deprived than after a normal night’s rest. This may seem an obvious observation– sleep less, look tired– but the study argues that the fact that we can so easily tell if someone is sleep-deprived has social ramifications.
“The face serves a key role in social perception,” they concluded, “affecting people’s judgments of everything from trustworthiness and aggressiveness to competence and likability in as little as 100 [milliseconds].”
Looking sleep-deprived, therefore, may not only affect your personal relationships, but also your professional ones. So what can you do about it? It’s a bit of a Catch 22 for the busy-body working populace. The only way to improve the look of fatigue is (you guessed it) to sleep.
Or maybe you can claim that matching your fatigue to your Rag & Bone fatigues is the new way to mix-and-match like prints for fall.