Loneliness is a consequence of lack of sleep.

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 07.06.2019

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14 February 2019, 09:00

Regular sleep deprivation makes lonely both the person and his environment.

Have you ever wondered what will happen if you systematically experience a lack of sleep? We will slowly think, remember worse, we will become irritable and easily excitable. It turns out that this is not a complete list of consequences. Experts representing the University of California (Berkeley) argue that the result of regular sleep deprivation can be loneliness. And even more: close people and friends can also become lonely.

Scientists conducted an experiment in which 18 guys took part. Participants either slept throughout the night or were actively spending time. The next morning, the guys were tested: a man approached them, who should have been stopped at the most comfortable distance from himself. Testing was duplicated on a video that was subsequently taken in an MRI chamber, assessing the brain at the time of the study.

Both in the first and in the second case, the distance of comfort was much longer for those participants who were deficient in sleep. To put it another way, the lack of rest for the brain forced the guys not to approach other people too closely. At the same time, in the brain structures against the background of a sleepless night, an area is activated that analyzes the likelihood of unpleasant moments associated with other people. Conversely, the area responsible for communicating with another person and forging social contacts was blocked.

First of all, scientists have suggested that sleepless people are lonely due to fatigue of the brain, which seeks to escape from the additional burden in the form of communication. And the truth is: when 140 other people were asked to wear special devices that reflect the duration and quality of sleep, it was discovered that those who spent a lot of time without sleep felt more alone.

Next, the experts set themselves a new task: to determine how people around them react to those who are awake at night. The videos with the participants showed a thousand volunteers who were to give an assessment: which guys people would begin to communicate with, and which of them have the kind of more lonely.

As it was discovered, a person with a lack of sleep not only looks lonely, but there is no desire to make contact with other people.

But during the experiment, one unexpected moment appeared: those volunteers who viewed videos with sleepy participants also began to feel lonely. That is, they seemed to be "infected" with loneliness. As the scientists explain, it is quite possible that people unconsciously adopt someone else’s social problem or an unstable state of mind, and then change their feelings, and this is absolutely normal.

The next work of scientists will be devoted to this question: does the psyche's response to sleep deprivation depend on age? Indeed, only young people took part in the current experiment. However, now physicians advise: if a person has a tendency towards a lonely lifestyle, then to solve such a problem, you first need to just sleep.

Information published on the pages of Nature Communications (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05377-0).

trusted-source[1], [2], [3]

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