Does sleep deprivation have any impact on our appearance?

With some help from supermodel Jodie Kidd, we decided to find out!

We all know that we should be getting between seven and eight hours of beauty sleep every night, but for many of us sleep isn’t a priority. If you’re part of the 46% of the nation that regularly cuts their sleep time down to six hours [1], there could be effects of sleep deprivation that you’ve never even considered.

With women in the UK spending £8.9 billion pounds on beauty and skincare products every year, (and with this figure set to rise to £10 billion by 2017! [2]) we investigated whether the most effective and cost-efficient answer could be found in getting those good quality Zzzzz….


jodie kiddjodie kidd

           Jodie after sleeping for eight hours                  Jodie after sleeping for six hours

Over the course of a week, we asked thirty female volunteers from across the UK, including supermodel and television personality Jodie Kidd to take part in our study.

After a night of sleeping for the recommended eight hours, our ladies were photographed, had their skin tested with a Visia machine[3] and answered some questions about their self-esteem and well-being. They then went on to sleep for just six hours for the next five nights, before doing the tests again.


The average participant’s results showed:

– Fine lines and wrinkles increased in number by an incredible 45%
– Spots increased by 13% in number and the overall visibility of those spots increased by 7%
– The number of porphyrins (bacteria on the skin) increased on average by 16%
– Red areas on the skin increased by 8% and brown spots increased by 11%

As well as physical effects such premature aging and other short term damage including spots and open pores, our results revealed that a lack of sleep can change how you feel too.

Every participant in the test agreed that she felt less attractive and had lower self-esteem after only getting an average of 6 hours sleep. We saw:

– A 20% decline in self-esteem over the course of the study
– Participants felt 33% less attractive at the end of the test
– Participants perception of how others saw them declined by as much as 35%


Supermodel Jodie Kidd told us: “As a busy working mother, it is quite common that I don’t get the recommended seven to eight hours sleep per night. Having seen the really quite significant effects of just five nights of six hours sleep, I realise that rest is an important part of it. After taking part in this study with Bensons for Beds I will certainly be paying more attention to my routine and prioritising getting a good night’s sleep.”

And what do the professionals say?

“Sleep deprivation is endemic in British society, with almost half of UK people regularly sleeping for 25% less than the recommended seven to eight hours. As the results of this study show, not only does this have serious effects on mood, cognitive ability and concentration, but also on appearance and self-esteem.”
Dr Guy Meadows, Founder of The Sleep School and leading UK sleep expert


As the UK’s leading bed supplier, Bensons for Beds has more than 270 stores nationwide, which offer a wide range of mattresses, headboards, pillows and accessories, as well as a range of high-quality bedroom furniture.


Bensons for Beds values the importance of providing customers with the tools to achieve their best night’s sleep every night. Customers can enjoy a Comfort Station™ at every store, allowing them to pinpoint the right comfort levels to accompany their particular sleeping habits.

[1] As found by a survey commissioned by Bensons for Beds in 2015 to over 13,000 people in the UK

[2] Mintel market report 2013

[3] A machine which maps and measures elements of the skin such as spots, pores, red areas, brown spots and porphyrins (bacteria on the skin), all of which affect the overall look of the face.





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Dr Guy Meadows

Dr Guy Meadows is a leading sleep physiologist and co-founder of The Sleep School. He has dedicated the last 13 years to sleep research and the prevention of sleeping disorders.

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