Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, have found that lack of good night’s sleep can cause puffy eyes and signs of ageing by increasing the wrinkles and fine lines on the face.
People looks sadder when sleep deprived compared to when they slept sound during the night, scientists said. Sleep deprivation affects facial features such as the eyes, mouth and skin, which in turn act as cues of sleep loss to other people.
The faces of sleep-deprived individuals had hanging eyelids, red, swollen eyes and dark circles under the eyes. Even skin was perceived to be paler with fine lines and wrinkles and more droopy corners of mouth.
"Since faces contain a lot of information on which humans base their interactions with each other, how fatigued a person appears may affect how others behave toward them," said Tina Sundelin, lead author and doctoral student in the department of psychology at Stockholm University in Stockholm, Sweden.
"This is relevant not only for private social interactions, but also official ones such as with health care professionals and in public safety," Sundelin said.
10 subjects were photographed during the study on two separate occasions- after eight hours of normal sleep and after 31 hours of sleep deprivation. These 20 facial photographs were rated by 40 participants with respect to 10 facial cues, fatigue and sadness.
According to the authors, face perception involves a specialised neuronal network and is one of the most developed visual perceptual skills in humans.
Facial appearance can affect judgements of attributes such as trustworthiness, aggressiveness and competence.
The study was published in the journal Sleep.
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