Those who sleep little feel more lonely and less inclined to come into contact with others, avoid contact just like people with social anxiety do. Moreover, this lack of sleep makes people less socially attractive.
Also people who sleep well and come into contact with someone who is sleepless, also start to feel alone, a clear case of contamination of social isolation.
These situations are suggested by findings from a study published in Nature Communications, in which hundreds of people have participated and, according to the authors, are the first to show a two-way relationship between sleep loss and social isolation, in which new data are spread over the worldwide epidemic of loneliness.
"We are a social species, lack of sleep makes us social" lepers ", according to Matthew Walker, senior author, professor of Psychology and Neurosciences at the University of California at Berkeley.
The researchers discovered that brain scans of sleep disturbances in watching video of people who approached them showed activity of social repulsion in the neural connections that are activated when people feel that they are entering their personal space. This lack of sleep also affects brain areas that normally encourage social contact.
"The less you fall asleep, the less you want to communicate socially, in fact others view it as repulsive, which increases the impact of social isolation," Walker said.
"This vicious circle can make a major contribution to the public health crisis of loneliness."
to Eti Ben Simonhead of the study, "perhaps it is no coincidence that there has been a marked increase in loneliness and in the reduction of sleep duration in recent decades".
In an interesting fact, the scientists discovered that the amount of sleep that someone achieved from one night to the next predicted exactly how lonely and unhealthy he would feel from day to day.
And while the bad mood and feelings of anxiety that increase if people do not sleep well, may have affected the results, the researchers took such situations into account and found that the findings remained solid.
Because the study was conducted with people between 18 and 24 years of age, future studies should investigate the situation throughout the life cycle.
The good thing is that a single night of good night's sleep makes the person socially safer and "attracts others", in the words of Walker.