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Ladies Love Me: Sleep-Deprived Men "Over Perceive" Their Sex Appeal

Update Date: May 31, 2013 03:42 PM EDT

Wonder why ladies think you're such a creep? It may be because you're not getting enough sleep.

Scientists found that sleep-deprived men are more likely to think that women want them. A new study published in the journal SLEEP found that just one night of sleep deprivation leads to an increase in men's perception of both women's desire and openness to have sex.

The study found that when well-rested, both men and women rated the sexual intent of women as significantly lower than that of men. However, after a night of not getting enough sleep, men's rating of women's sexual intent and interest spiked significantly, to the extent that women were no longer seen as having lower sexual intent than men.

Just like alcohol, sleep deprivation can cause frontal lobe impairment, which can lead to poor decision-making skills in risk-taking, moral reasoning and inhibition, researchers explained.

"Our findings here are similar to those from studies using alcohol, which similarly inhibits the frontal lobe," co-researcher Jennifer Peszka, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark., said in a news release.

The latest study involved 60 college students who were asked to complete psychological questionnaires on sex perception and commitment. The participants were asked to complete the questionnaires before and after one night of sleep deprivation.

"Sleep deprivation could have unexpected effects on perceptual experiences related to mating and dating that could lead people to engage in sexual decisions that they might otherwise not when they are well-rested," said Peszka.

"Poor decision-making in these areas can lead to problems such as sexual harassment, unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and relationship conflicts which are all factors that have serious medical, educational and economic implications for both the individual and for society," she concluded.

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