There are many ways to feel lonely. We can be surrounded by others–yet feel isolated. Or live with a person who does not understand us. Or be the only one in the house–long-term. Is it possible to lose sleep over it?
People are all around us. As soon as we leave our front door, we’ll run into them. And if we’re heading to the store of social engagement, they’ll be a lot more.
Lord Bryon, an 18th century English poet, said, ” I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone.” That may be the case for a few of us but most would like others in the house. And when no comes, we struggle with feelings of sadness and depression.
Research conducted at The University of Chicago suggests that those who felt feelings of loneliness, for any reason, were more likely to lose 30 minutes of sleep each night compared to those who did not. And that loneliness predisposed some to depression which works hand in hand to disrupt sleep.
Experts agree that genetics plays a part in whether or not a person feels lonely or is easily depressed and sleep requirements can be inherited as well.
If you experience feelings of loneliness and depression, accompanied by a lack of sleep, you may be one of those who is wired that way. Or your difficulties could be circumstantial.
Either way, check with your doctor if you’re feeling overwhelmed with loneliness and cannot sleep.
Self-help when loneliness robs your shut-eye
First, is it possible to become more involved with others during the day? Try joining a church or civic group to test Lord Byron’s prescription for a new appetite for alone time.
Second, are you getting enough exercise and time outdoors? We all know our grandkids sleep much better when they’ve played hard and enjoyed the sunshine.
Thirdly, do you have a furry pal that’s with you throughout the day? Maybe he or she could sleep at your feet or beside your bed. A faithful daytime buddy may jump at the chance to accompany you at night.
Lastly, can you have your grandkids over more often? They’re sure to provide enough stimulation to get you ready for some quiet rest.