Study Claims Poor Sleep Affects Mental Health in Students

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A new study published in the bimonthly academic journal ‘Annals of Human Biology’ claims that approximately 65.5% of students are experiencing sleep difficulty, kind of partial insomnia, and it is affecting their mental health. It also claims that women students are more affected by lack of sleep than their male counterparts. The study is published in the journal under the headline – ‘Poor sleep quality, excessive daytime sleepiness and association with mental health in college students.’ The lead author of this paper is Dr Paulo Rodrigues of the Federal University of Mato Grosso, Brazil.

The findings of the study are based upon the research done on 1,113 men and women attending the university full time. The paper also claimed that the students who showed depressive symptoms are four times more likely unable to sleep properly compared to others. Out of 1,113 students, over 500 of them also suffered from Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). It must be mentioned that those suffering from EDS are prone to depression twice.

The study also highlighted the difference of EDS and lack of sleep on male and female students with the reports concluding that it has a larger effect on women as compared to men.

The author also warned that often the demand of the course is the triggering point for students as it increases their stress level from moderate to high and in the process, makes them vulnerable to sleep disorders.

The sleep disorder often leads to mental health issues and all of this pressure further dampens students’ academic performances. The study also suggests universities and colleges to promote good sleeping habits as it will help the students both academically and mentally.

The author also warned that lack of sleep contributes to students missing classes, skipping academic work and dropping out of their courses midway.

Meanwhile, this is not the first study paper, which has identified lack of sleep and EDS among universities students. However, very few studies have made the link between poor sleep among students affecting their mental well being. The study is derived from the data used from 2016 and 2017 and it is part of a Longitudinal Study on the Lifestyle and Health of University Students (ELESEU).

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