Insufficient sleep may lead to poorer mental health among college students —Study

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College students who are sleeping less than the ideal number of hours are more prone to get poorer mental health; this according to a study conducted in the United States.

Results from the new study at the University of Arizona showed that college students possess more symptoms of mental health problems when they skip on sleep.

The researchers collected data from 110,496 college students with 8,462 of them were athletes or varsity players.

They asked the students to record their sleep habits with insufficient sleep assessed as the number of nights they did not “get enough sleep so that you felt rested when you woke up.”

With this, they were able to check the symptoms which occurred within the last 30 days. They have also taken other data like age, gender, race, and ethnicity.

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The results strongly suggested a connection between insufficient sleep and mental health symptoms among the college students.

According to the findings, students get 20% more chance of experiencing mental health symptoms with every additional night of insufficient amount of sleep.

Moreover, the researchers have found out that lack of sleep increases the chance of students to get the feelings of hopelessness, anger, and anxiety. Students are more likely to have the desire for self-harm, self-destruction and problems in functionality.

Lead author Thea Ramsey has also compared the findings between student-athletes and non-athletes.

“It was intriguing that while student-athletes experienced on average fewer nights of insufficient sleep and better mental health, the relationship between insufficient sleep and mental health was as strong or stronger in athletes compared to non-athletes,” she said.

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Meanwhile, senior author Michael Grander, PhD reiterated the importance of proper sleep especially for young adults.

“The fact that sleep health was so strongly related to mental health is important since the majority of college students do not get the recommended amount of sleep needed for optimal health and functioning.”

American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggested adults – aged 18 years old and above – to have seven or more hours of sleep per night. But in a previous study in one university, 39% of their population have regularly slept less than 7 hours on weeknights.