26: COVIDsomnia: Community, Connection, Loneliness, and Sleep
Play • 13 min

What does community mean to you?

To me, it means a safety net. People to call when I have a problem, people to commiserate with when going through a hard time, people to celebrate with when happy things happen. It means having people there to help when you need it and being there to offer help when they need it.

Being in community means taking care of eachother.

But what happens when many of the ways we typically do this for each other become impossible because of the circumstances we’re living through?

According to Dr. Vivek Murthy in his book, Together, loneliness is an epidemic. One of the most prevalent epidemics of our time.

Loneliness was an issue long before COVID and it will surely be one long after. But, if we start to recognize it and take actionable steps towards addressing it, maybe we can slowly lessen the burden over time.

What is loneliness? The subjective feeling that you’re lacking the social connections you need.

According to leading researchers of loneliness (I will put the sources in the show notes), there are 3 dimensions of loneliness:

  1. Intimate(emotional): longing for a close confidante or intimate partner
  2. Relational (social): yearning for quality friendships and social companionship and support
  3. Collective: Hunger for a network or community of people who share your sense of purpose and interests

Being alone, in and of itself is not a risk factor for loneliness.

Distinguish between isolation vs. solitude.

What if we responded to loneliness (like we do to hunger and thirst), instead of giving in to it?

What does any of this have to do with sleep?

Loneliness directly impacts our quality of sleep. Dr. Vivek Murthy citing the work of John Cacioppo said, “When we’re profoundly lonely, we tend to sleep lightly and rouse often, just as our ancestors did to prevent being overtaken by wolves or enemies.” -

They found that “lonely people come out of sleep many times throughout the night, and though they may think they’ve slept through the night, these microawakenings undermine the quality of their sleep, leaving them fatigued and irritable.”

Coronosomnia/COVIDsomina… isolation→ loneliness→ awakenings

So what do we do? Right now, it’s necessary for survival to be physically separated from people outside of your household.

  1. Make plans to do a masked, socially distanced walk or chat, outside, with a friend or family member.
  2. Do something kind for someone. Acts of service create connection. Connection produces happy chemicals in your brain.
  3. If you’re someone who struggles with sleep and you haven’t been able to make the changes necessary to start living a well-rested life, I’ve created The Sleep Reclamation Project for you. 

😴🥱😴🥱😴🥱😴🥱😴🥱😴🥱😴🥱😴🥱😴🥱😴🥱😴

*Check out my website and see how we can work together

*Subscribe to "Things That Keep Us Up at Night" here!

Loving what you are hearing at Things That Keep You Up at Night!? Have you found some tips to help you sleep better?  Make sure you subscribe and leave a 5 STAR – Review at Apples Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts!

Song Credits: I Can't Sleep by My My Snake Eyes feat. Red Red Revision

--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/abby-desjardien/message
More episodes
Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu