There are sad connections between feeling lonely and getting poor sleep.
Both are linked to health problems such as cardiovascular disease and stress, for starters. But it also seems that one (loneliness or lack of sleep) can lead to the other.
Previous research has found that feeling lonely can cause people to have fragmented sleep – but new research now points to the fact that poor sleep can also result in becoming lonely. Vicious circle.
A new study, from the University of California, Berkeley, discovered that people who are sleep deprived tend to want to avoid social contact.
When played a video of someone with a neutral expression approaching them, poor sleepers were found to have increased activity in areas of the brain which is activated when it perceives potential incoming human threats. And – conversely – the area of the brain that encourages social interaction was shut down.
In an even deeper twist, the research discovered that people who were sleep deprived were seen as less socially attractive to other people. All of which could of course make matters a whole lot worse.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, or suffer from insomnia, my book – 222 Ways To Trick Yourself to Sleep – has plenty of scientifically supported tips that might help you nod off easier and get that all-important shut-eye for optimum health. You can order it here from Amazon or here from Waterstones
pictures courtesy of pixabay