Lack of sleep linked to mental health problems for college students


(Reuters Health) – Bad sleep may be linked to a higher risk of poor mental health on college campuses, new research suggests.

With each night's sleep insufficient, the risk of mental health symptoms increased by about 20%, according to results presented on June 11 at Sleep 2019, the annual meeting of Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

The findings suggest that college students can benefit from sleep health education, Thea Ramsey, a graduate student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, told E-mail Health.

His adviser Dr. Michael Grandner, a senior author of the study and director of the university's Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic, told Reuters Health that while the importance of sleep in mental health has already been demonstrated, "our study represents one of the highest today". shows this link, and shows that the more nights of insufficient sleep you get as a college student, the greater the likelihood of displaying a wide variety of mental health symptoms. "

Ramsey, Grandner and colleagues analyzed data from more than 110,000 students, acquired through the National College Health Assessment. They defined "insufficient sleep" as the number of nights when students did not get enough sleep to feel rested.

In their analysis, insufficient sleep was linked to a 19% to 29% increase in mental health symptoms. Loneliness increased by 19% for each night of inadequate sleep, depressed mood increased by 21%, anxiety by 25%, desire for self-agression increased by 25%, suicidal thoughts increased by 28% and exhaustion increased by 29% among other evaluated symptoms.

The researchers examined about 8,500 student athletes as a subgroup and found similar associations. Ramsey suspected that there were differences in athletes' response to insufficient sleep, but the data did not seem to confirm this.

"What I found impressive was the number of students they were able to study and the strong relationship between insufficient sleep and multiple domains of mental health.This is an important finding, as mental health problems are common in this age group and, unfortunately, Insufficient sleep is also very common in this group, "said Dr. Raman Malhotra, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, who was not involved in the research.

"This study would suggest that health care providers and universities should put more emphasis on getting adequate amounts of sleep not only to help with general physical health but also mental health," Malhotra told Reuters Health by e- mail address.

SOURCE: Conference sleep of 2019, June 11, 2019.


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