A new study has found that more than one-half of students experience poor sleep quality, with researchers noting that lack so sleep has been associated to mental health issues. The study was published in the “Annals of Human Biology” journal. It is part of the longitudinal study on the lifestyle and health of students in universities.
The study involved 1,113 women and men who attend university on a full-time basis, all aged between 16 and 25. Each participant was asked about their socioeconomic status and sleep quality, with researchers also assessing their body mass index. The researchers used this data to find the link between perceived levels of stress, symptoms of depression and poor sleep quality.
The researchers found that those who were studying biological and health sciences were more likely to be impacted in comparison to students who were enrolled in human and social sciences. They also discovered that students who reported symptoms of depression were four times as likely to suffer from poor sleep habits. Of the total number of participants, the researchers found that excessive daytime sleepiness affected about 55% of them. This proportion were also more likely to experience higher levels of stress as well as depression.
The research also highlights a gender divide, with findings showing that excessive daytime sleepiness and poor quality of sleep was more prevalent in women. Researchers warn that stressors make students vulnerable to sleep disorders, which in turn impacts their health as well as their academic performance. The researchers are requesting that universities do more to promote good mental health and positive sleeping habits.
Dr. Paulo Rodrigues, lead author of the study, stated that sleep disorders were particularly detrimental to college students because the disorders have been linked to various negative effects on academic life. Rodrigues, who is from Brazil’s Federal University of MatoGrosso, explained that the negative effects included high rates of absenteeism, failures in perception and attention and dropping out. He noted that the university environment provided greater exposure to factors that could affect sleep habits.
He highlighted that it was important to assess and monitor mental health, sleep habits and the quality of life of university students in order to decrease the risk of developing various chronic ailments. In addition, Rodrigues advised that university managers implement institutional policies and actions that will stimulate the development of different activities that benefit the mental health of students as well as promote good sleep habits.
For those who develop mental disorders, companies such as Mind Cure Health Inc. (CSE: MCUR) (OTCQX: MCURF) are working day and night to see that the most efficacious treatments are available.
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