Loneliness: 5 things you may not know

BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 15: Three persons with umbrella walk along the river Spree on December 15, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images)

Story highlights

  • For some, chronic loneliness is a way of life
  • Loneliness can hurt your ability to sleep well
  • It may also contribute to dementia and heart problems, studies suggest

Dhani Jones is a former professional American football player, entrepreneur and author of "The Sportsman: Unexpected Lessons From an Around-the-World Sports Odyssey." He's shared his best advice with CNN for a new Digital Studios series called "Be a Champion." This article was originally published in 2014.

(CNN)Nearly everyone feels lonely at some point. The good news is, for many of us, it's a temporary condition, perhaps one caused by a life change: moving to a new location, for instance, or starting a new job.

But for other people, loneliness is a way of life, one that may stem not from the number of people around them but from a lack of connection with others. And, research has showed, chronic loneliness can have