In a study published on 14 August 2018, researchers Eti Ben Simon and Matthew P Walker unveiled four interesting connections between sleep and loneliness. In this blog we examine the first two connections that their research unveiled.
Firstly, it appears that a lack of sleep makes people feel lonelier than they would if they had more sleep.
The study asked 140 people aged 18 – 24 years old to track their sleep and feelings over a few days. The researchers found that people who reported poor sleep from one night to the next also reported an increase in feelings of loneliness the next day, whilst those who got better sleep reported less loneliness. After one night of good sleep, the feelings of loneliness returned to normal.
Secondly, the people who interacted with the sleep-deprived person left the interaction feeling lonelier themselves.
The participants felt rejected by those displaying loneliness and it made them feel lonely too.
The researchers noted that there may be a “viral contagion of social isolation” linked to sleep loss. This means that loneliness is contagious and if somebody close to you is experiencing sleep loss as well as loneliness, then your mood will be impacted by it too.
Getting a good night’s sleep is good for you and those around you. Do it for your country- get to bed!
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