Leading article: The late show

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The Independent Online

Advocates of a good night's sleep have always had science on their side. We have been told for years that more sleep makes you more intelligent, healthier, thinner and longer living. But now it seems they have overwhelming force.

A new study by researchers from Stockholm's Karolinska Institute suggests that a full night's slumber makes a person more physically attractive to boot. The photographs of subjects who had been deprived of sleep were judged less attractive by untrained observers than photographs of the same subjects who had experienced a full eight hours. Beauty sleep, it seems, is real.

But does that really clinch the argument in favour of sleep? We are still not convinced. Physical attractiveness is all very well, but a person also has to consider what is being missed in those hours spent in bed attempting to attain it. Such as England thrashing Australia in The Ashes Down Under, watching I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! catch-up programmes, admiring the Moon, poring over the latest WikiLeaks cables.

As Woody Allen once put it: "The good people sleep much better at night than the bad people. Of course, the bad people enjoy the waking hours much more."