Sleep Deprivation Linked To Depression

In addition to numerous physical consequences, just one night without sleep can affect your mental health.  According to recent research from the University of Arkansas, just one sleepless night is shown to increase a person’s anxiety and depression.  Although previous research has confirmed that stable sleep habits are important in battling depression, this study demonstrates that mentally healthy adults are susceptible to the effects, as well.

Researchers selected 102 healthy Arkansan adults as their test subjects, most of whom were affluent white people in their early twenties. Of the original group, 88 people successfully completing the study. All subjects filled out questionnaires on the first day to ascertain their sleep habits and depression levels.  Afterwards, each person was randomly selected to be part of one of two groups: one that was asked to sleep as much as they would in a normal night or one that was asked to stay up the entire night.  Members of this second group were instructed to call the laboratory every hour throughout the night to verify that they were actually awake.  On the following day, participants filled out similar questionnaires in order to compare their results after the previous night.

The control group, the people who had slept for a full night, had a negligible reduction in their depression and anxiety. Though this could be due to sleep, the experts acknowledge that this finding may be the result of the subjects being more comfortable with the laboratory setting by the second day.  Meanwhile, the sleep deprived group’s anxiety and depression levels increased by about 10% each.  Clearly, having even just one sleepless night is enough to raise concern for everyone, including young healthy adults.

Overall, this study is further proof of how different aspects of wellness are interconnected; having a mentally and physically healthy lifestyle requires solid sleeping habits.  Learn how to achieve better nights of sleep in order to have more cheerful and relaxing days.

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