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Quality sleep, according to recent research presented at SLEEP 2024, correlates with reduced loneliness, particularly beneficial for younger adults. A restful night may serve as a remedy for various ailments, highlighting the significance of sleep for overall well-being and social connection.

Better sleep linked to reduced emotional stress

In 2023, the US Surgeon General declared loneliness a public health crisis, likening its health risks to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day. Before COVID-19, around half of U.S. adults reported feeling lonely, isolated, or lacking connection. Joseph Dzierzewski, VP of research at the National Sleep Foundation, emphasizes the urgent need for providers to address and treat loneliness.

The study enrolled around of 2,297 adults (average age: 44) and found that improved sleep quality reduces loneliness levels. Participants completed online sleep health surveys and loneliness assessments. Published in SLEEP, the research reveals a correlation between good sleep and decreased emotional, social, and overall loneliness, applicable to adults of various ages.

Researchers emphasizes the significance of sleep in comprehending loneliness throughout adulthood. Dzierzewski suggests that enhancing sleep health might positively impact loneliness, particularly among young individuals.

Seven hours of sleep promotes alertness and productivity

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society advocate for seven hours of nightly sleep for adults, promoting optimal health, productivity, and alertness. While research suggests younger adults may benefit more in reducing loneliness through sleep, authors highlight the need for further investigation.

In response to rising loneliness rates, U.S. health officials have implemented strategies endorsed by the CDC, including fostering social connections through family time, group activities, outdoor pursuits, gratitude expression, and community service involvement. These initiatives aim to address societal loneliness by encouraging interpersonal engagement and community participation.

Additionally, initiatives in public health stress the importance of commencing with modest steps to cultivate or reinforce connections. This could involve increasing the frequency of reaching out to others, establishing limits to enhance the quality of relationships, gaining insight into one’s individual attachment styles to enrich interactions, and acquiring skills to effectively handle conflicts.