The Sleep Council Oonagh-Connor-approved-re-sized Fatigue epidemic sparks new bags and eyeshadow trend for women  The latest trend in bags and eye shadows for women has become a dire sign of the times.

According to a Sleep Council survey, women are in the grip of a fatigue epidemic that is taking its toll on their looks.

It found that one in 10 women feel so tired it affects their appearance every day. Top tell tale signs are shadows under the eyes (56%), washed out, pasty skin (55%) and bags under eyes (36%).

Conducted for National Sleep In Day – October 30, the day the clocks go back and we all get an extra hour in bed – the Sleeping Beauty survey* found more than nine out of 10 (94%) women agreed the best tonic to looking and/or feeling better was a good night’s sleep. Yet only just over half (55%) take to their beds for a lie-in or early night. Nearly a third (29%) try to soldier on and mask the signs of fatigue with make-up. And most spend significant sums each month doing so.

But, says top make-up artist Oonagh Connor, you can’t beat a great night’s sleep for looking good: “Make-up is an effective way of covering up the signs of tiredness but nothing beats a good night’s sleep, and a smile to keep you looking your best!”

With almost three in 10 (29%) of women feeling lack of sleep affects their looks on up to four days a week, perhaps it’s no surprise that four out of 10 (42%) would not be seen in public without their make-up.

Typically they spend between £11 and £30 a month on cosmetics, skin care products and facials, with some prepared to pay up to £100 a month and even more. Yet according to The Sleep Council, a great night’s sleep is much more effective and costs a lot less: the cost per month of a £500 bed works out at just £5.85 per month over seven years.

Nearly one in four (24%) respondents rely on caffeine and energy drinks for a boost to look less tired while a third (33%) admitted they had been so shattered in the morning it had made them late for work. More than one in 10 of those questioned (12%) had fallen asleep at work while one in six (15%) felt so worn out they went back to bed and skipped work or the school run/work altogether.

It does, however, cheer women up no end to see ‘celebrity shocker’ snaps: more than four in 10 (44%) admitted they enjoyed seeing pictures of celebrities not looking their best as “it makes me feel better to know that they can look like that too.”

16-24-year olds are particularly self-conscious about the affect lack of sleep has on their looks. Just over six out of 10 complained of shadows under their eyes and pasty skin; half wouldn’t venture out without make-up and, age-wise, they are by far the greatest spenders on products or treatments for the face. More than one in four (26%) spend between £21 and £50 a month on them.

By occupation, it is women working in the human resources sector who far outspend the rest. Nearly one in five (19%) spends between £51 and £200 a month – up to a phenomenal £2,400 a year – on products and treatments for the face. And it is the legal eagles who like to look their best at all times with two out of three (67%) always made up.

Despite the fatigue epidemic, just over one in five women (21%) admitted sleeping on a mattress more than eight years old – The Sleep Council recommends changing them every seven years.

“Women spend hundreds of pounds a year on cosmetics that cover the signs of fatigue,” says Jessica Alexander of The Sleep Council, “yet a new bed could be the best possible remedy and costs just pence per night.”

When asked what stopped them from having a good night’s sleep, almost two thirds of those questioned put it down to stress and worry – but one in six acknowledged the problem was an uncomfortable bed. And seven out of 10 women would be prepared to pay £500 and considerably more to buy a new one.

*The Sleep Council Sleeping Beauty survey was conducted by Opinion Matters between October 5 – 13 2011 among a sample size of 1411 women.

Sleep Council to launch New iPhone App to show how lack of sleep takes its toll
As part of its drive to highlight the physical effects of poor sleep habits,
The Sleep Council has produced an iPhone App – UrKnackered – that converts suspiciously sleepy faces into ones exhibiting extreme signs of fatigue. Available from the first week of November, the fun app is designed to be used on known sleep-dodgers to show how they might look through three different levels of tiredness featuring dark circles, red eyes, grey skin and even spots.

Results by city

National
55% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Belfast
56% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Birmingham
53% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Bristol
47% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Cardiff
65% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Edinburgh
47% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Glasgow
55% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Leeds
48% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Liverpool
49% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

London
56% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Manchester
63% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Newcastle
51% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Norwich
57% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Nottingham
64% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Plymouth
59% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Sheffield
54% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Southampton
53% of women feel washed out and get pasty skin when feeling tired and run down

Results by region

National
42% of women would not be seen in public without make-up on
29% of women feel so tired if affects their appearance two to four times a week
44% make a concerted effort to get into better sleep habits
63% fail to get a good night’s sleep due to stress and worry

East
46% of women would not be seen in public without make-up on
24% of women feel so tired if affects their appearance two to four times a week
38% make a concerted effort to get into better sleep habits
65% fail to get a good night’s sleep due to stress and worry

London
40% of women would not be seen in public without make-up on
33% of women feel so tired if affects their appearance two to four times a week
58% make a concerted effort to get into better sleep habits
63% fail to get a good night’s sleep due to stress and worry

Midlands
39% of women would not be seen in public without make-up on
23% of women feel so tired if affects their appearance two to four times a week
42% make a concerted effort to get into better sleep habits
58% fail to get a good night’s sleep due to stress and worry

North East
43% of women would not be seen in public without make-up on
38% of women feel so tired if affects their appearance two to four times a week
43% make a concerted effort to get into better sleep habits
54% fail to get a good night’s sleep due to stress and worry

North West
41% of women would not be seen in public without make-up on
31% of women feel so tired if affects their appearance two to four times a week
43% make a concerted effort to get into better sleep habits
61% fail to get a good night’s sleep due to stress and worry

Northern Ireland
35% of women would not be seen in public without make-up on
20% of women feel so tired if affects their appearance two to four times a week
35% make a concerted effort to get into better sleep habits
76% fail to get a good night’s sleep due to stress and worry

Scotland
38% of women would not be seen in public without make-up on
22% of women feel so tired if affects their appearance two to four times a week
41% make a concerted effort to get into better sleep habits
63% fail to get a good night’s sleep due to stress and worry

South East
49% of women would not be seen in public without make-up on
29% of women feel so tired if affects their appearance two to four times a week
46% make a concerted effort to get into better sleep habits
64% fail to get a good night’s sleep due to stress and worry

South West
42% of women would not be seen in public without make-up on
33% of women feel so tired if affects their appearance two to four times a week
47% make a concerted effort to get into better sleep habits
67% fail to get a good night’s sleep due to stress and worry

Wales
33% of women would not be seen in public without make-up on
23% of women feel so tired if affects their appearance two to four times a week
41% make a concerted effort to get into better sleep habits
64% fail to get a good night’s sleep due to stress and worry

Yorkshire
49% of women would not be seen in public without make-up on
35% of women feel so tired if affects their appearance two to four times a week
42% make a concerted effort to get into better sleep habits
63% fail to get a good night’s sleep due to stress and worry

Celebrity make-up Artist Oonagh Connor’s top tips for looking fresh faced

When we’re tired, our skin appears washed out, pale and lacking lustre – to bring an instant glow, mix illuminator or an illuminating moisturiser into your foundation.
Bring some colour back to your cheeks by sweeping a blusher a shade brighter than your usual tone along your cheek bone.
Eyes are a big give-away to tiredness but luckily there’s a lot we can do in this area to brighten up our face – use eye creams to hydrate the area around the eyes.
To reduce puffiness around the eyes, place a spoon in the fridge to cool and then hold it over eye bags. An old wives tale!
To hide dark circles use concealer directly under the eyes.
For red eyes use flesh coloured eyeliner on the lower inside lash line.
Use neutral coloured eye shadows to help brighten the eyes.
Use eyelash curlers to open up the eyes. They can be heated or normal.
Use lengthening mascara to widen your eyes.

However it’s not just about covering up the signs of tiredness, it’s important to focus on the lifestyle decisions that you’re making. Essentially, the way to overcome the appearance of tiredness is to make sure you are properly rested.

Never underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep. It is probably the best beauty secret I can share! We need to consider our sleeping environment, making sure the temperature is right, and that we are sleeping on a comfortable bed. After all, the phrase ‘beauty sleep’ didn’t come from nowhere!
It’s vital that you drink plenty of water each day to keep your skin hydrated.
Eat a balanced diet to get the essential vitamins that will promote healthy skin, hair and nails.
The benefits of exercise are endless, but with a busy lifestyle it can be used to relieve stress, helping you to unwind.

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