Sleeping Beauty was onto something.
A study published in the British Medical Journal finds that the concept of beauty sleep is not just a myth, but a proven way to increase your attractiveness and perceived health and vitality among your peers, reports the U.K.'s Daily Mail.
Carried out by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, the study photographed 23 healthy adults after a restful eight hours of sleep, and then again after no more than five hours of sleep. Lab monitoring ensured that the participants got the prescribed amounts of sleep.
The women in the study wore no makeup for the photos, and kept their hair down so as not to inadvertently influence the viewer's opinion.
The eight-hour and five-hour post-sleep photos were then rated by the general public on a scale of one to 10 in terms of attractiveness. The eight-hour slumberers won by a landslide.
"Sleep deprived people are perceived as less attractive and less healthy compared with when they are well rested," concluded the study.
But the radiance-boosting benefits of sleep aren't just reserved for your skin.
A separate study from the Belgravia Centre in Britain found that hair health and growth patterns can often be disturbed by lack of sleep, and can exacerbate male pattern baldness, as well as, thinning hair in women.
A full night's sleep allows the proteins that comprise hair strands to replenish and rejuvenate, for the most glossy and thickest look -- which peers associate with better health.
Experts also point to a full eight-hour night's sleep as a way to improve the look of wrinkles, as the sweat our bodies naturally produce during the rest cycle hydrates and plumps fine lines that would stand out more prominently after lack of sleep.
Yet, vanity isn't the only reason to nab a full night's sleep.
Our natural rest cycle -- known as the circadian clock -- is a complex inner working that manages temperature and enzyme productions needed to put our bodies into the sleep phase.
Without regular and sufficiently restful sleep, the health and rejuvenation of the immune, muscular, nervous and skeletal systems suffer.
Researchers at the University of Warwick and University College London have concluded that sleep deprivation can double the risk of cardiovascular disease, and increase the chance of weight gain, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.
But before you slip into the sheets for a marathon sleep session, be warned: Too much sleep can also have ill physical and health effects, which researchers connect to more serious conditions like clinical depression.
So what's the ideal amount of sleep to both look your best and feel your most healthy and energetic?
A University of California, San Diego psychiatry study encompassing more than 1 million adults found the magic number among people who live the longest is seven hours, while the Karolinska Institute study placed the number between seven and eight hours for optimal attractiveness.
We think it's the perfect excuse to hit that snooze button one more time.
Meanwhile, check out these tips for better sleep.
In related news, find out the 4 habits that can age you by 12 years.
And if you've been getting a little injectable boost to look your best, you'll want to check out the alarming new results of a study on the long-term side effects of Botox.