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John Cacioppo, a University of Chicago psychologist, said he thinks there just might be something to that.

He has spent much of his career tackling the topic of loneliness and isolation, which researchers have proved can affect humans adversely, all the way down to gene expression.

“Feeling ignored sparks feelings of loneliness,” said Mr. Cacioppo, director of the University of Chicago’s Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience.

But getting away, he said, is “the opposite of being lonely.”

It’s time that you take by choice, Mr. Cacioppo said. So while the cognitive effects still are being studied, he said it’s very likely that type of solitude is good for the brain.

Dan Rollman had little doubt of that when he and a few others from Reboot, a group of Jewish “thought leaders,” gathered in 2009. That’s when they created the Sabbath Manifesto, inspired by the traditional Jewish Sabbath but aimed at people from any background who are encouraged to unplug one day — any day — of the week.

The idea came to Mr. Rollman when he found himself craving a simpler time, when stores closed on Sundays and life slowed down.

“I knew I wanted a day of rest,” said Mr. Rollman, who is CEO of the company RecordSetter.com.

The Manifesto — described as “a creative project designed to slow down lives in an increasingly hectic world” — has 10 principles. They are suggestions ranging from “avoid technology” and “connect with loved ones” to “get outside,” “drink wine” and “find silence.”

Mr. Rollman himself avoids doing work on Saturdays whenever he can and often unplugs altogether then — and encourages his employees to do the same.

“There’s a huge sense of relief,” Mr. Rollman said. “It is a liberating feeling to walk out of one’s door and not have your cellphone in your pocket.”

Leah Jones, a 35-year-old Chicagoan, hasn’t gone quite that far, but she has cut back, turning her cellphone to “silent” mode from 11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. and putting it away when she goes out.

“I’m a better friend when I don’t have my phone in my hand,” said Ms. Jones, who is 35 and vice president of social and emerging media at Olson Public Relations.

For her, solitude might be simply sitting home and watching a few episodes of TV.

“I might tweet while I watch it, but it’s a perfectly acceptable way to spend an afternoon,” she said.

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