Sad Science: A Lonely Heart Leads to Sleepless Nights

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New science flies in the face of the idea that you sleep better when you have the whole bed to yourself. People who report higher feelings of loneliness have more restless sleep, notes a new study in the journal SLEEP.

While lonely-hearts get a normal amount of total shut-eye and aren’t groggier during the day, they wake up more during the night. (And here you thought a snoring bed-partner was a real sleep-disrupter.) And since quality Z’s are critical to good health, rocky sleep may explain why other studies have found that lonesome people have more health problems. Normal sleep patterns — the stages of sleep that do a restorative number on your body each night — last 90 minutes to two hours. If you’re slipping in and out of slumber every night, your don’t log enough cycles to get your body in fighting shape for the following day.

Interestingly, none of the study subjects were socially isolated — it’s just that some of them felt like outcasts. So the loneliness that shatters sleep is totally subjective; what causes loneliness in one person could be different from the next.

Feeling alone? The key to quashing loneliness is getting out there and meeting people. What’s that, you’re all ready to post some awesome date ideas? Get to it!

[photo credit: flickr, Lilly Darma]