Feeling Lonely? A Good Night’s Sleep Might Help

Adult recommendation in 7 hours of shut-eye per night

Not getting enough sleep?

Feeling lonely?

There may be a link between the two.

A study in the journal Nature Communications found sleep-deprived people feel lonelier and are less inclined to engage with others, avoiding close contact in much the same way as those with social anxiety.

What’s more, sleep-deprived individuals were found to be more socially unattractive to others, researchers noting even a brief encounter with a person who has not had enough sleep could make a well-rested person feel lonely.

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says:

  • children aged 3 to 5 need 10 to 13 hours of sleep
  • children aged 6 to 12¬† need 9 to 12 hours of sleep
  • teens aged 13 to 18 need 8 to 10 hours of sleep
  • adults 18 and older need 7 or more hours of sleep

The average sleep cycle is 90 minutes long and the average person has five of them which makes 7 and a half hours.

Loneliness not the only byproduct of sleep deprivation

Research has also shown that too little sleep is associated with an increased risk of chronic medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.