August 15, 2018
California: Sleep deprivation has long been associated with several health problems.
Now, researchers have found that it can also destroy your social life. According to a study done by researchers at University of California, Berkeley, sleep-deprived people feel lonelier and socialize less, which in turn makes other less likely to socialize with them.
The encounter with the sleep-deprived can also have a contagion effect on the well-rested people, making them feel lonely, the study found. The results are the first to show a two-way link between poor sleep and social isolation, reported health.com. “We humans are a social species.
Yet sleep deprivation can turn us into social lepers,” Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology and senior author of the study, said in a release. Sleep deprivation showed reduced activity in brain regions that normally encourage social engagement, the study found.
“The less sleep you get, the less you want to socially interact. In turn, other people perceive you as more socially repulsive, further increasing the grave social-isolation impact of sleep loss,” Walker explained.
That “vicious cycle”, Walker added, could be a “significant contributing factor to the public health crisis that is loneliness”.
Research shows that loneliness increases the risk of early death by more than 45 percent.
Thankfully, all you need to do to feel better is sleep well. According to Walker, “just one night of good sleep makes you feel more outgoing and socially confident, and furthermore, will attract others to you”.
The study has been published in the journal Nature Communications.