A recent research from the King’s College London in the United Kingdom suggests that loneliness may significantly affect the sleep quality in young adults.
For their study, a team of researchers analyzed the data of 2,232 young adults aged between 18 and 19 years, who participated in the Environmental Risk Longitudinal Twin Study. Having completed the questionnaires, the 25 to 30% of the study participants reported that they sometimes felt lonely, while nearly 5% said that the often felt lonely.
The findings of the study show that the participants who felt lonely were 10% more likely to have poor sleep quality compared to those who did not report loneliness. Additionally, they were 24% more likely to experience daytime tiredness and issues with concentrations.
Lack of sleep and all the possible sleep disorders are increasing the risk of developing various diseases at any age. But in adolescents, even when total duration of nighttime sleep is normal, reduction one of its phases fraught with the development of diabetes.
Sleep consists of different phases, during which specific changes of brain activity can be observed. The so-called phase of REM sleep tends to decrease with age, however, researchers in the US found very early start of reducing this phase, which can occur with the onset of adolescence, associated with severe metabolic disorders in a young body.
Scientists from the Pennsylvania State University found that the reduction of sleep phases with slow variations in the electrical potential, which is observed in adolescents, who are staying up overexcited (for example, after the computer games or entertainment with smartphones), can lead to early onset of diabetes 2- type.
Penn researchers examined 700 children aged 5 to 12, of which 53.9% were boys in a somnological laboratory. The children slept in a specially equipped laboratory for an average of 9 hours, during which scientists were using special equipment to determine the duration of young people’s sleep phases. During the second experiment, which was carried out 8 years later, in addition to studying the phases of sleep in all volunteers, they took blood samples for research on insulin levels and tested the cognitive functions.
The researchers found that boys who were in breach of the slow phase of sleep, comparing with their peers with normal sleep are more often have an increased resistance of the body’s cells to insulin. In addition, teenage boys with REM sleep phase disorders more commonly have excessive deposition of fat in the waist area and the deterioration of the ability to concentrate. The total duration of nighttime sleep of participants has not changed much over the 8 years that passed between the two phases of the experiment. The authors of this study noted that girls with insufficient duration of REM sleep phase were not linked to these disorders.