Surprising Discoveries on Loneliness


Perusing the news I discovered CNN’s article, “Loneliness: 5 things you may not know” from November 26, 2014. It made me think of those whom I know living alone or are lonely so I gave them a call. Support the lonely people in your life and save them pain, sleep, dementia, premature death, and even heart disease or cancer.

1 – “It may affect your brain in a way similar to physical pain” – Naomi Eisenberger from UCLA states feelings of loneliness register in the same area as physical pain.

2 – “It can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep” – A rural South Dakota community study discovered nighttime disruptions were higher for those feeling lonely whether the respondent had family & friends close by or not.

3 – “It can increase your risk for dementia” – Researchers in Amsterdam reported “feeling lonely raised the risk of dementia by 64%” though causation is not determined.lonely

4 – “It may contribute to premature death” – Death rates increase incredibly if you are 60+ years old whether you live alone or not, simply being lonely is enough and if you 45+ years old and have heart disease or at high risk for it the numbers are similar.

5 – “It may break your heart (literally)” – Long-term loneliness can cause inflammation response which can “lead to heart disease and cancer.”

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About the Author

Melissa Cook
Melissa Cook is the author of As a retired high school teacher and school district administrator, she chooses to share her MS story in hopes of benefiting others.