Get Your 'Beauty Sleep': Well-Rested People More Attractive, Say Experts

We all know sleep is key to our physical and mental wellbeing - a good night sleep can help fend off everything from stress to heart disease.

But if that isn't enough to encourage you to switch off and get those crucial forty winks, perhaps vanity will.

Scientists have shown that beauty sleep is, in fact, a real thing.

A recent study, where participants were kept awake for 31 hours, shows that sleep deprivation really does take its toll on the appearance.

The physical effects of lack of sleep included swollen eyelids, bloodshot eyes, dark circles under their eyes, wrinkles and droopy corners of the mouth.

The effects were judged an independent panel who compared photographs of 10 individuals taken before and after sleep deprivation.

“We confirmed that sleep-deprived people are perceived as more fatigued, less attractive, sadder and less healthy than when they are rested, confirming the colloquial notion of beauty sleep,” say researchers, who published their findings in the journal Sleep.

Researchers suggest that lack of 'beauty sleep' may have consequences reaching far beyond aesthetics.

"The results show that sleep deprivation affects features relating to the eyes, mouth, and skin, and that these features function as cues of sleep loss to other people," they said. "Because these facial regions are important in the communication between humans, facial cues of sleep deprivation and fatigue may carry social consequences for the sleep deprived individual in everyday life."