“We may all be dependent on feeling secure in our social environment in order to sleep soundly,” says Lianne Kurina from the University of Chicago.”

Loneliness may disrupt sleep. This is according to this study of 95 older Hutterites, who live in communities where meals and possessions are shared and social isolation is rare.

Researchers collected information on loneliness, depression, stress, and perceived quality of sleep. The study participants also wore a wrist actigraph for a week to objectively measure sleep duration and sleep fragmentation.

They found that higher scores of perceived loneliness were associated with higher levels of fragmented sleep. Lonely people were more likely to toss and turn and wake up more frequently during the night.

Loneliness has been associated with poor health outcomes. This study suggests that sleep disturbances could be one way loneliness is detrimental to health.