How You Sleep and How You Look

We’ve all wondered, at one point or another, if many of the most attractive Hollywood celebrities know some magic formula for staying so young and fresh looking. Yes, some genetics, makeup and plastic surgery help but those things only go so far. There are days even those lucky enough to possess those attributes still don’t look their best. There must be more to their magic.

What if there is a way to achieve some of that “other” magic for yourself? Right at home? You want to know the secret? Here it is: a good night’s sleep.

That may not sound like all that thrilling of a secret but it’s true. Clinical studies prove that sleeping well not only impacts overall health, it also affects how we look. And no doubt you already know this, but just how does it work?

Keep in mind our brains are designed to be perceptive to faces. As a matter of fact, there is a special part of the brain that is dedicated to nothing other than recognizing individual facial features. That’s why we can tell people apart, even if they share similar attributes, for instance, face shape, eye shape and color and much more.

And it’s because of this ability to differentiate between subtle facial features that people can also recognize that you may be feeling tired or sick. And it’s when someone states “you look tired today,” that your fatigue is making a statement on how you look.

What Role Does Sleep Play in Facial Appearance?

A recent study published in the journal Sleep, examined the visible impact sleep deprivation can have on physical appearance. The study compared photos of people after they had eight hours of quality sleep and then after experiencing 31 hours of sleep deprivation.

Photos taken of people after sleep deprivation had saggy eyelids, more redness in the eyes, dark circles under the eyes, as well as eye swelling. Not only that, researchers noticed that the subject’s skin looked paler, with wrinkles looking more prominent. In fact, people appeared to look sadder than they did in the rested photos.

Why Does Sleep Have Such a Strong Impact on How We Look?

As you know, sleep not only rests the mind but also the body. Your body gets a chance to repair daily wear and damage. New collagen forms, helping your skin look young and firm. Sleep loss, on the other hand, can also cause blood vessels under the eyes to dilate, giving them a darker appearance. Finally, lack of sleep can also affect your mood, which clearly shows up as negative body language on your face.

So, How Much Sleep is Enough to Look Your Best?

One study suggested that getting slightly over nine hours of sleep each night was associated with the best appearance. But In fact, there probably isn’t one perfect number. The key is getting the amount you need to feel fully refreshed, and for most adults, that’s between seven and nine hours. Keep in mind that getting more sleep than the recommended amount won’t result in even better results.

So, who would have known that simply regularly getting a good night’s sleep could be your Fountain of Youth? No guarantees on Hollywood stardom, though.