Lack of sleep linked to mental health problems for college students: Each restless night raises anxiety and depression by 20%

Lack of sleep related to students’ mental health problems: each hectic night increases anxiety and depression by 20%

Poor sleep can be associated with a higher risk of poor mental health on campus.

Each night of insufficient sleep, the risk of developing mental health symptoms increased by about 20%. This is clear from the results presented at the annual meeting of Associated Professional Sleep Societies 2019 on June 11th.

The findings suggest that students could benefit from sleep health education, said lead author Thea Ramsey, a student at the University of Arizona at Tucson, at Reuters Health.

Your advisor, dr. Michael Grandner, lead author of the study and director of the University’s Sleep Medicine Clinic, told Reuters Health that the importance of psychological sleep had already been demonstrated.

But: “Our study is one of the largest in the world and shows that the fewer nights you sleep, the more likely you are to experience a wide range of mental health symptoms as a student.”

Ramsey, Grandner and their colleagues analyzed data from more than 110,000 students enrolled in the national medical assessment. They defined “insufficient sleep” as the number of nights when students did not sleep well enough to feel rested.

In his analysis, insufficient sleep was associated with a 19-29% increase in mental symptoms.

Loneliness increased by 19% for each night of insufficient sleep, depressed mood by 21%, anxiety by 25%, desire to self-harm by 25%, suicidal thinking by 28% and exhaustion of 29%. %.

The researchers studied nearly 8,500 student athletes as a subgroup and discovered similar associations.

Ramsey had suggested that there might be differences in the athletes’ response to lack of sleep, but the data did not seem to confirm this.

“What I found striking is the number of students they could study and the close relationship that exists between lack of sleep and many areas of mental health,” said Dr. Raman Malhotra , Professor of Neurology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, did not participate in the research.

“This is an important finding because mental health issues often occur in this age group and, unfortunately, there is not enough sleep in this group.”

“This study suggests that health care providers and universities should focus more on sleep in order to improve not only physical health, but also mental health,” Malhotra told Reuters Health via email.