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Quality Sleep Linked to Reduced Loneliness Among Younger Adults


A recent study has revealed a strong connection between good-quality sleep and reduced loneliness, with the effect being more pronounced among younger individuals. This study, conducted by a team of researchers including Joseph Dzierzewski, highlights that individuals who maintain good sleep hygiene tend to experience lower feelings of loneliness. This suggests a compelling connection between sleep quality and social well-being.

Key Findings

The study shows that better sleep health is associated with significantly lower levels of overall loneliness, emotional loneliness, and social loneliness. Interestingly, this link is more pronounced in younger people. However, the relationship between sleep quality and social loneliness does not vary with age, indicating that good sleep is beneficial across all age groups for reducing loneliness.

Public Health Perspective

Joseph Dzierzewski, as the principal investigator and vice president, emphasized the critical nature of loneliness as a pressing public health crisis, urging healthcare providers to enhance their comprehension and treatment strategies for addressing it effectively. He emphasized the pivotal role of sleep in mitigating loneliness throughout adulthood. Dzierzewski suggested that enhancing sleep health could potentially alleviate loneliness, especially in young people.

Recommended Sleep Duration

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) emphasizes the critical importance of sleep for overall health and well-being. Their primary recommendations for sleep are as follows:

  1. Adults: The AASM recommends that adults aged 18-60 should aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health. Sufficient sleep ensures optimal health, productivity, and alertness during the day. [2]


  1. Teenagers: For teenagers aged 13-18, the recommended sleep duration is 8-10 hours per 24 hours. [3]


  1. Children: Children aged 6-12 should strive for 9-11 hours of sleep each night. Younger children, aged 3-5, require 10-13 hours of sleep, while toddlers aged 1-2 should get 11-14 hours of sleep daily, including naps. [4]

Public Health Advisory

In 2023, the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory highlighting loneliness, isolation, and a lack of connection as a public health crisis. This advisory noted that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, about half of U.S. adults experienced significant levels of loneliness. The authors of the study advocate that initiatives aimed at reducing loneliness should prioritize promoting sleep health, particularly for younger adults.

Further Research

Dzierzewski pointed out that it remains unclear why younger adults might experience more significant sleep-related benefits concerning loneliness than older adults and warrant further investigation. This finding opens up new avenues for research into the specific mechanisms by which sleep influences loneliness differently across age groups.

Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

Inadequate sleep can result in adverse health outcomes, such as:

  • Increased risk of chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression.


  • Impaired cognitive and motor function, which raises the risk of accidents.


  • Weakened immune response, which makes the body more susceptible to infections. [2]
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Tips for healthy sleep hygiene

Healthy sleep hygiene refers to a set of practices and habits that promote good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness. Here are some recommendations for enhancing your sleep hygiene:

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule: Maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Strive to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends. This practice assists in regulating your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.


  1. Create a bedtime routine: Establish a relaxing pre-sleep routine, such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing relaxation exercises. This signals the body that it’s time to wind down.


  1. Optimize your sleep environment: Make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep. This involves ensuring the room is cool, quiet, and dark. If needed, you can use blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine to achieve these conditions for better sleep.


  1. Limit exposure to sleep before bed: The blue light emitted by phones, tablets, and computers can interfere with sleep by suppressing melatonin production. Try to steer clear of screens for at least one hour before you plan to go to sleep.


  1. Regular exercise: Engaging in as little as 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily can enhance sleep quality and overall health. Exercising outdoors may amplify these benefits further, as exposure to natural light aids in regulating the sleep-wake cycle.


  1. Limit Caffeine Intake: The effects of caffeine can last 3–7 hours after its consumption. Thus, it’s important to limit caffeine intake later in the day to prevent sleep disruption and maintain restful sleep at night. [5]


The link between quality sleep and reduced loneliness underscores the importance of sleep hygiene as a fundamental aspect of overall health. By acknowledging and addressing sleep patterns, particularly among younger adults, we can potentially mitigate feelings of loneliness and improve social connectedness. Embracing good sleep practices not only benefits individuals but also contributes to a healthier, more connected society.

In essence, quality sleep serves as a cornerstone for emotional resilience and meaningful relationships, offering a pathway to a more fulfilling and less lonely existence in today’s interconnected world.

Author: Dr. Anjali Singh

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