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Can sleeping better help your social life?

We are looking at the impact of sleep on the ability to maintain your social life and friendships. Sleeping adequately improves your mood and self-esteem, allowing your social stamina and friendships to be positively affected.

There is a strong link between sleep and social behaviour. A Swedish study reported by the Daily Mail talks about how sleep deprivation can change your perception of others, physically and mentally. The study discussed that people who were sleep deprived viewed others as untrustworthy or less attractive, compared to those who did receive adequate sleep. The MailOnline states that, “the research team fears that this leads to more anti-social behaviour as people are less likely to interact with those they find less attractive or trustworthy.” 

Sleep deprivation can also affect energy levels and increase lethargy throughout the day, leaving you dependent on caffeine or sugar to help raise your energy levels. This can affect your willingness to socialise with friends or partake in activities requiring a lot of effort or energy, leaving your social life null and void. 

These hypotheses have also been confirmed from a neuroscientific point of view. In fact, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have shown how being sleep deprived is closely associated with feelings of social isolation. According to the researchers, one of the causes is neuronal activity: sleep deprivation decreases activity in areas of the brain that generally facilitate and produce pro-social behaviour.  

Can excessive social interaction affect sleep?

The reverse effect is that excessive social interaction can be the cause of sleep deprivation. The term ‘social jetlag’ has been used recently to describe the effects of social interaction on sleep. Staying up extremely late and waking up early can cause you to experience symptoms of jetlag, and can affect your sleep-wake cycle. Social jetlag doesn’t just affect you physically, as excessive social media consumption can also cause symptoms of jetlag. There are studies that suggest that excessive social media usage can lead to lack of sleep or disturbed sleep from the glare of screens or straining eyes. 

The solution, however, is not in social withdrawal. On the contrary, researchers consider social activity one of the most decisive protective factors against depression and, thus, the sleep disorders it causes. In particular, the researchers who published the study in the American Journal of Psychiatry pointed out that having a person you feel comfortable confiding may be the most crucial aspect of social connection when fighting depression.

How does social media affect sleeping?

Sleep deprivation and being social are also connected in that excessive use of social media can cause sleep deprivation. A study by the BBC talks about how “teenagers using social media for more than three hours a day are more likely to go to bed after 23:00 and wake during the night.” The study then goes on to say that “lack of sleep can have a significant negative impact not only on young people's wellbeing, but on their relationships with family and friends.” 

It seems that too much social interaction via social media can affect your sleep, and not getting enough sleep can affect your social life and relationships with friends and family. Maintaining a sleep schedule and routine, and staying off your phone an hour before bed can help to improve sleep quality and therefore improve your social life too.

How getting a good night’s sleep can fuel our social lives

Improves cognitive function 

Not only does a good night’s sleep affect your overall health and wellbeing, it also affects your brain and cognitive function. Sleep also affects emotions and social interactions. Based on the study mentioned above, we know that reduced sleep affects our perception of others and can make us view them in a negative light. However, getting a good night’s sleep allows us to perceive people in a more positive way, which increases our drive to spend time with and socialise with people. 

Increases willingness to socialise

Sleeping well also encourages us to perform better in our daily lives and activities, as it increases energy levels and also our physical appearance and ability to do things, which can increase our self-esteem and make us more willing to socialise with people. 

Reduces anxiety

Sleeping well during the night can decrease daily anxiety, which also increases willingness to socialise with others. Sleeping better can encourage the production of melatonin which promotes relaxation and restful sleep, and can overall reduce anxiety and stress.

More from Sunrise by Emma

At Sunrise by Emma, you can read more sleep-related articles, which offer tips and advice on general sleep health and sleep wellness, as well as recommend sleep products you can use to help aid your sleep. To find out more about us and our message, see our about us page for general information about the site. To ensure a good night’s sleep, head over to Emma Sleep for research-backed sleep products such as mattresses, pillows and weighted blankets. 

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