Study shows loneliness can make you tired

If you’ve ever found yourself skipping a night out with friends, and instead going home and sleeping, those two things may be more linked than you thought. 

According to University of Vienna researchers, being lonely actually saps your energy. 

The researchers looked into people adhering to lockdowns during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and test subjects who were quizzed after undergoing both periods of social interaction and social isolation. 

What the scientists found was that being isolated caused people to have the same reaction they would to food deprivation. In fact, just eight hours of being by yourself can leave you feeling tired. Many people, though not all, experience cravings for interaction just like those who are hungry for food. 

“In the lab study, we found striking similarities between social isolation and food deprivation. Both states induced lowered energy and heightened fatigue, which is surprising given that food deprivation literally makes us lose energy, while social isolation would not,” authors Ana Stijovic and Paul Forbes say in a media release.

While the exact mechanics to explain the reaction are still a mystery, the scientists say the effect is real; some theorize that the human body lowers energy levels when it’s isolated, in the same way it tries to conserve resources when it’s being starved.