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31/05/24 | 4:53 pm

New study links better sleep health to lower levels of loneliness

A recent study has found that better sleep is associated with lower levels of loneliness, especially among younger individuals.

The findings indicate that improved sleep quality reduces social and emotional loneliness. While better sleep health was linked to lower total and emotional loneliness across all age groups, age did not influence the relationship between sleep health and social loneliness.

“Loneliness is an urgent public health crisis, and there is a pressing need for providers to better understand and treat it,” said lead author and principal investigator Joseph Dzierzewski, Ph.D., vice president of research at the National Sleep Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Dzierzewski also highlighted that the finding regarding why younger adults benefit more from sleep in addressing loneliness than older adults remains unknown and is an intriguing area for further investigation.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), sleep is essential for health. The AASM and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults get seven hours of sleep per night regularly to promote optimal health, productivity, and daytime alertness.

The study involved 2,297 adults with a mean age of 44 years, with 51 percent being male. Participants completed an online sleep health questionnaire and a loneliness scale. Researchers analyzed the results using correlation and linear regression analyses, along with moderation analyses.

In 2023, the US Surgeon General issued an advisory warning about a public health crisis of loneliness, isolation, and lack of connection. The advisory noted that even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately half of US adults reported experiencing measurable levels of loneliness.

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