Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sleep And Loneliness

Over at Cognitive Daily (at its new digs on Seed Magazine's new stable of Science Blogs), either Dave or Greta (can't tell which one) comment on an interesting study that suggests that lonely people have less efficient sleep. The study invollved college students without depression and incorporated measurements of sleep quality both in the lab and at home.

They conclude:
Whether loneliness causes poor sleep is not answered by this study, which can only show a correlation between loneliness and inefficient sleep. Perhaps poor sleep causes loneliness, or perhaps some other condition causes both loneliness and poor sleep (though individuals suffering from depression, possibly the most likely culprit, were excluded from this study).
If you have any crazy college sleep/sleep deprivation stories, share them in their comment thread. I'll be reading them over there with great interest.

Perhaps being gregarious exposes one to more germs. On the other hand, it appears that having sex boosts the immune system (from Countess and Blondesense). Perhaps having sex also makes one sleep better, too?

Reference:
Cacioppo, J.T., Hawkley, L.C., Berntson, G.G., Ernst, J.M., Gibbs, A.C., Stickgold, R., & Hobson, J.A. (2002). Do lonely days invade the nights? Potential social modulation of sleep efficiency. Psychological Science, 13(4), 384-387.

3 Comments:

Blogger neuralgourmet said...

I'd like to see that loneliness scale used for selection of the subjects. I wonder if it takes into account those who prefer to be alone by temperment and personality. We're not typical, but we are out there.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Ruby said...

All I know is: I sleep better when I am the only person in the bed.

12:59 PM  
Blogger coturnix said...

Oh, oh, Ruby, I thought you were gettting married in a couple of months! You'll have to change your sleeping habits, I guess, or Brian may not be too happy....LOL

1:09 PM  

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