Sleep more to boost mental health

By Drum Digital
30 June 2016

Not only do you feel more refreshed after a good night's sleep, but it will boost your mental health too.

A study conducted by Silentnight and the University of Leeds, England, warns that less than six hours shut eye a night could lead to higher risks of depression or anxiety. More worryingly, the experts found that more than a quarter of British people are surviving on just five hours sleep a night.

Dr. Anna Weighall, who conducted the study, stressed the link between rest and emotional wellbeing as the research monitored various postcodes across the nation.

From the findings, Dr. Weighall discovered a bi-directional relationship which showed a correlation between mental welfare and sleep.

“Firstly, we see the relationship between where people live vs how much they sleep, with this the second observation from the research shows the link between sleepless nights and the rise in mental health," she explained.

“Areas where we see a drop in the number of hours people sleep are more inclined to struggle with mental health problems."

Not only is mental health affected by lack of sleep, but health issues are worsened too. Dr. Weighall continued to share that the links between sleep and psychical health are also clearly shown though the survey, backing up former research that has linked it to cardiovascular problems and metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes.

“Our research, conducted in collaboration with Silentnight, showed how from a survey of 1000 UK adults we found a strong relationship between poor sleep and reduced health related quality of life," she stressed.

For anyone who is battling mental health problems and wishes to get more shut eye at night, Dr. Weighall recommends trying to set a regular bed time and rising time in the morning. Anxiety and stress can see sleep routines compromised, but when suffering such problems this is when people need more sleep, preferably six to eight hours.

Silentnight's sleep expert, Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan, also shared her words of advice.

“Sleep is vital for healing the body on every level and not just physical," she said. "When we don’t get deep restorative sleep, over a period of time we can start to feel symptoms of anxiety and depression...

“Good sleep heals mind, body and spirit. When we get the right amount of deep sleep, this rebalances every cell, tissue and organ system in the body. Levels of hormones and neurotransmitters are restored and rebalanced and we wake up with good energy.”

She further advises to avoid checking the time during the night and to leave technology out of the bedroom. © Cover Media

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