Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – they say – but is this just a cliché maxim that relatives tell you after you get braces for the first time? Is beauty really subjective? Sure, we might all have our own ideas of what is beautiful, but even Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man proves that there is a quantifiable, mathematical formula to what makes a perfect human. Maybe it’s symmetry and maybe it’s biology – or perhaps a combination of both, but there is certainly some evidence that there is an evolutionary purpose to being more pulchritudinous. Now, a new study reveals that consistent CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, treatment for sleep apnea can make you appear more physically attractive.
After 2 months of nightly CPAP treatment, patients looked noticeably more youthful, well rested and attractive after treatment. In addition, 68% of volunteers said that patients also looked more alert.
Determining whether someone is more attractive is a touchy subject – one usually reserved for an elementary school handball court – but researchers wanted to find out whether CPAP treatment for obstructive sleep apnea not only alleviated patients’ symptoms caused by the sleep disorder, but also if treatment improved appearance. Everyone knows that a bad night’s sleep can make you less than presentable the next day, but could “beauty sleep” actually be a real thing? The study, which was conducted at Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Michigan, revealed that consistent CPAP treatment not only subjectively enhanced beauty, but researchers also found “objective changes in facial surface volume and color.”
Eat your heart out L’Oréal, because CPAP treatment is surely giving the entire beauty and cosmetic industry a run for its money. According to the study, which was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, researchers used advanced 3D face mapping software to analyze and photograph 20 middle aged patients who were suffering from sleep apnea. Photographs were taken before and after treatments, and those photos were randomly observed by 22 volunteer raters. What they surmised was that after 2 months of nightly CPAP treatment, patients looked noticeably more youthful, well rested and attractive after treatment. In addition, 68% of volunteers said that patients also looked more alert.
If you had a hard time sticking to CPAP treatment before, perhaps the results of this study will strengthen your resolve. Moreover, if you are suffering from sleep apnea and you have a pending appointment with your plastic surgeon, perhaps a few shots of botox would merely be like mowing the lawn, because maybe your best option is to talk to your physician about getting fitted for a CPAP mask. The study also reveals more specific details besides the broad assertion of increased attractiveness. For instance, through high-tech digital photogrammetry, researchers found decreases in forehead surface volume, which means basically that patients showed a reduction in wrinkles – cheek and under-eye redness were also shown to have been reduced. So, maybe it’s time to throw out those wrinkle creams and under-eye patches and strap on that CPAP mask.
- Hearst Communications, Inc. 2013. Beautiful Woman Outside.