Need to appear more intelligent in a hurry but don’t have time to buy a pair of glasses or brush up on 19th century Philosophy? According to a recent study, simply getting a good night’s rest may be enough to show your smarts since more awake and attentive facial cues are associated with increased intelligence.

For the research, recently published online in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, lead researcher Sean Talamas from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and his team conducted multiple experiments to investigate the influence of changeable facial expression on first impressions of intelligence.

“Essentially, I was interested in investigating whether individuals can change their perceived intelligence, regardless of their attractiveness,” Talamas told Medical Daily.

The team of researchers had around 200 volunteers examine the faces of 100 adults (aged 18-33) and 90 school children (aged 5-17), and give their opinion on the individual's intelligence and attraction. The team then digitally manipulated eyelid openness and mouth curvature on the images to see if this affected the responses.

“It is important to note that what this research investigated was not facial expressions, as the faces were all intended to have 'neutral' facial expressions,” said Talamas. “Instead we investigated how very subtle differences in neutral or resting facial expressions can influence perceptions.

Regardless of their overall attractiveness, individuals with droopier eyes and frowning faces were continually perceived as having lower intelligence than people who are more bright eyed and happier. Although, according to the study, men and women alike are more likely to ascribe desired personality traits to attractive people than unattractive people due to a phenomena known as the attractiveness halo, these results suggest that some of the facial cues we associate with intelligence are unrelated to attractiveness.

Unfortunately for us, the facial cues are subconscious to the giver, which means that purposely opening your eyes wider is more likely to make others perceive you as insane rather than intelligent. However, according to Talamas, you can produce the desired effect by getting more sleep, being in a better mood, and simply being aware of the influence your resting expression has on first impressions.

The study could have more far-reaching repercussions, and suggests that the infamous Resting Bitch Face may not only be bad for your reputation, it could also compromise your professional life. For example, Talamas told Medical Daily that he feels it is important for students and job seekers to understand the power of first impressions and realize that their resting facial expressions while they are looking at a potential employer or their lecturer can have an influence on their perceived competence. On the other hand, Talamas suggests that his research could help teachers or employers understand that sometimes a droopy irritated expression is not indicative of decreased competency, but rather just an indication that the student or candidate had trouble sleeping.

Source: Talamas SN, Mavor KI, Axelsson J, Sundelin T, Perrett DI. Eyelid-Openness and Mouth Curvature Influence Intelligence Beyond Attractiveness. Journal of Experimental Psychology . 2016