A recent study proves that individuals who do not sleep well will most likely experience anti-social tendencies. Whats interesting is these characteristics aren't necessarily personality traits, but more a product of an activation of alternative brain regions that display these characteristics.
The study showed 3 distinct factors in individuals after poor sleep.
The first experiment tested social distancing preference for those who had not slept well for 2 consecutive nights. Social distancing preference meaning the physical distance the individuals preferred to stand away from others. The test showed that the individuals choose to stand on average 33% further away from individuals compared to when they received quality sleep.
They were quickly able to conclude a poor quality of sleep leads individuals to have a lower desire for social interaction and social proximity.
The second part of this experiment used MRI imaging of the brain to see what type of activation was occurring to cause this social repulsion.
The first interesting thing that they discovered was that the “alarm network” in the brain that warns us about potential incoming threats became hyperactive. To make matters even worse, the part of the brain that is responsible for helping us interact with other individuals, to understand their intentions and is known as the “pro social” part of the brain was shut off.
So, the feelings of social repulsion, social anxiety, and the desire to be alone are all coming from this brain imbalance due to poor sleep.
If that wasn’t bad enough, all these characteristics that are displayed are also repelling other individuals from interacting with people who are sleep deprived. The blind study consistently showed that when given the choice individuals will choose to not interact with individuals displaying these signals of sleep deprivation or fatigue.
So, when it comes to socialization issues, it may be much less of a personality trait than you think…
While our disrupted sleep is not our fault, it is our responsibility to work on because it turns out these antisocial characteristics are very risky for our health.
We all know that obesity ranks as one of the top risk factors for our lives, increasing mortality rate by over 20%. Well it turns out that loneliness is even more deadly… in fact twice as risky as obesity, increasing out mortality rate by 45%!
This statistic is quite scary and shocking, but the good new is these imbalances do improve as sleep quality improves.
Yet another reason to put sleep quality at the highest tier of importance in your journey with narcolepsy.