Guest post by Brandon Travis ~

Night owls beware—in a 2010 study, Swedish researchers found that people who had been deprived of sleep the night before appeared more tired, less healthy, and overall less attractive than those who got the recommended eight hours of sleep.

But simply saying that someone who hasn’t managed enough sleep is “less attractive” doesn’t really tell us much. Besides, that kind of statement seems pretty subjective. Are there any concrete things that the researchers could point to? What specific effects does sleeplessness really have?

Skin. Just going through a regular day damages our skin but if you don’t get enough sleep, studies show that it takes longer for your skin to recover. Moreover, it’s harder for the skin to stay moist, which means more drying, cracking, and even bleeding in extreme cases. This is because sleep is the time when our bodies work to regenerate and create new skin cells. Without this restorative period, our skin tends to look flat, dull, and lifeless.
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Eyes. If there’s one dead giveaway that someone is overly tired, it’s your eyes. Tired eyes get bloodshot and watery, dark circles appear under them, your eyelids droop, and the skin around your eyes becomes puffy. Creams, cover-up, and eye drops can hide or alleviate some of these symptoms, but they won’t help you when you need to focus during the day—tired eyes just don’t look as alert or as full of life as those of people who get enough sleep. The only real solution is to get a full night of sleep on a regular basis so that your eyes can maintain that youthful look.

Posture. Many of us suffer from poor posture, but not getting enough sleep just makes it worse. You drop your shoulders and let your head hang down. You drag your feet whenever you have to walk anywhere. Not only is this kind of behavior unattractive in and of itself, people who are constantly slumping tend to look older and more beaten down than they really are, as well as like they’re carrying around extra weight. Even worse—bad posture can cause back pain, which will likely reinforce your bad posture.

Face. Chronic lack of sleep actually affects the muscle tone in your face, and the wrinkles and lines around your mouth, eyes, and brow stand out more. And even beyond these physical symptoms, people who don’t get enough rest tend to wear expressions that showcase how tired they are—no matter how hard they try to do the opposite.

Fat. Yes, that’s right—not getting enough sleep can actually make you gain weight, and the reason for this actually makes quite a bit of sense when you think about it. Sleep is the time when our body systems shut down and go into a kind of hibernation, so if we’re not reaching that point and instead expending more energy, we tend to have bigger appetites. Worse, our bodies start to crave foods that are higher in calories and carbohydrates. And if you think you can avoid this fate through willpower, think again—in some cases, researcher even found that those people who didn’t have an increase in appetite still gained weight.

What this boils down to is that “beauty rest” isn’t just a myth. In order to look and feel our best, getting the right amount of sleep is incredibly important.

 About the Author: Brandon Travis likes to spend his free time swimming and training for his next triathlon in the spring. When he’s not working out he likes to review sites like iRollover, click here.