Teenagers who are lonely may have poor quality of sleep, according to a new British study. In the study, lonelier people were also 24 percent more likely to feel tired and have difficulty concentrating during the day.
Researchers from King’s College London in the UK sampled data from a cohort of about 2,232 18-19 year-old twins born in the UK.
They measured sleep quality in the past month, including the time it takes to fall asleep, sleep duration and sleep disturbances, as well as daytime dysfunction such as staying awake during the day.
The team found that overall 25-30 percent of the people reported feeling lonely sometimes, with a further five percent reporting frequent feelings of loneliness.
The researchers found that the association between loneliness and sleep quality remained even after they accounted for symptoms of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, which are commonly associated with sleep problems and feeling lonely. The association between loneliness and poor sleep quality was almost 70 percent stronger among those exposed to the most severe forms of violence.
"Diminished sleep quality is one of the many ways in which loneliness gets under the skin, and our findings underscore the importance of early therapeutic approaches to target the negative thoughts and perceptions that can make loneliness a vicious cycle," said Louise Arseneault, professor at King’s College London.