Lonely teenagers more likely to sleep poorly

A man awake in bed in the early hours of the morning

A man awake in bed in the early hours of the morning

Being lonely can prevent you from getting a good night's sleep, new research claims.

Loneliness is defined by researchers as a distressing feeling that people experience when they perceive their social relationships to be inadequate.

Researchers from King's College London in the United Kingdom sampled data from a cohort of about 2,232 18-19 year-old twins born in the UK. Restless sleep in lonely individuals may also be due to feeling less safe or a result of a heightened biological stress response.

Teenagers tend to feel lonely and stressed if they face abuse and violence by family members.

They may also have poor which includes more time taken to fall asleep, total duration of sleeping, and also disturbances while sleeping.

Further, the association between loneliness and poor sleep quality was found to be nearly 70 per cent stronger among those exposed to the most severe forms of violence, including crime, sexual abuse, child maltreatment and violent abuse by family members or peers.

Overall 25-30% reported feeling lonely sometimes, with a further 5% reporting frequent feelings of loneliness.

According to the research, young adults who feel lonely have 24 per cent more chances of feeling exhausted throughout the day and also have difficulty in paying concentration during the day.

"We also found that past exposure to violence exacerbated the association between loneliness and poor sleep, which is consistent with the suggestion that sleep problems in lonely individuals are related to feeling unsafe", added Timothy Matthews from King's College London.

"It is therefore important to recognise that loneliness may interact with pre-existing vulnerabilities in some people, and that these individuals should receive tailored support".

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