Is it possible for tired people to ‘spread’ their misery to others?

woman yawning at her computer
Image credit: Adobe

[A] new study out of the University of California, Berkeley suggests that poor sleep can be a nightmare for our social lives too. It just might turn us into lonely outcasts, capable of spreading our misery to others.

[Researchers] recruited 18 healthy college students who were screened for any sleeping problems. The volunteers were asked to come by the sleep lab for two sessions.

In one session, they arrived at the lab and had electrodes attached to measure their sleep activity, then were sent home to sleep as normally as they could. In the other session, they instead stayed the night at the lab, and were monitored to make sure they didn’t sleep at all.

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Without knowing anything else about them, including how they slept the night before, the online volunteers were asked to rate the interviewees on characteristics like loneliness and social desirability, as well as how active they looked.

Even from afar, the sleep-deprived volunteers were more often seen as anti-social. And interestingly enough, when the online volunteers were asked about their own moods after watching these clips, they reported feeling worse about themselves after seeing clips of people who felt lonely.

The chain of events the authors stumbled upon might be enough to send sleep-deprived people and those they come into contact with spiraling down further into social ostracization.

Read full, original post: Sleep-Deprived People May Infect You With Loneliness

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