A new study to be published in the journal Sleep finds that loneliness may play a role in how well you sleep at night, but not for how long you sleep each night. Researchers from the University of Chicago wanted to investigate whether loneliness had a hand in sleep fragmentation or sleep duration. So they studied 95 individuals with a median age of 39.8 years, and used both objective and subjective measures to assess whether loneliness does play a role in how you sleep at night.
They found that after controlling for age, gender, body mass index, risk of sleep apnea, and negative affect (comprising symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress), those who reported feeling more lonely exprienced higher levels of sleep fragmentation and woke more in the middle of the night than those who didn't report feeling very lonely.
However, the researchers didn't find that perceived levels of loneliness affect how much sleep a person gets overall, or daytime levels of sleep.