Monday February 24, 2020

Study: Lack of Sleep Associated with Wide Range of Mental Health Issues in Students, Athletes

Published in the journal Sleep, the study analysis involved 110,496 students, out of which 8,462 were athletes

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Sleep, Mental Health, Students
Insufficient sleep is associated with a wide range of mental health issues. Pixabay

Insufficient sleep is associated with a wide range of mental health issues such as anxiety, self-harm and suicide ideation among students and athletes, according to a study. Published in the journal Sleep, the study analysis involved 110,496 students, out of which 8,462 were athletes.

“It was really surprising to see how strongly insufficient sleep was associated with a wide variety of mental health symptoms among college students,” said lead author Thea Ramsey from the University of Arizona in the US.

With every additional night of insufficient sleep, the risk of experiencing mental health symptoms increased on average by more than 20 per cent.

insufficient sleep, mental health issues
Published in the journal Sleep, the study analysis involved 110,496 students, out of which 8,462 were athletes. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Good Sleep Helps in Reducing Desire for Sweet, Salty Foods

The risk also increased by 21 per cent for depressed mood, 24 per cent for hopelessness, 24 per cent for anger, 25 per cent for anxiety, 25 per cent for desire to self-harm, 28 per cent for functional problems and 28 per cent for suicide ideation.

“The fact that sleep health was so strongly related to mental health is important since the majority of college students don’t get the recommended amount of sleep needed for optimal health and functioning,” said Michael Grander from the varsity. (IANS)

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Follow These Tips For a Better Mental Health

Steps to improve your mental wellness

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Mental health
Here are some strategic steps to improve your mental health. Pixabay

BY PUJA GUPTA

Feeling anxious and overwhelmed is not surprising in the 21st century. The year 2020 started under the cynical shadow of political unrest, international security threats, a run of hate crimes and what not. Not to forget about the vile expectations we allow ourselves to go through on a daily basis: become richer, lose weight, be a better person, think positively and more – the urge to meet such expectations, obligations and duties are so high that you often end up crumbling under them.

As Ramon Llamba, Ph.D. in Quantum Physics and the founder of Golden Age Transformation puts it, “The greatest barriers to living a better life are your self-created, overgrown expectations.” She pens down some strategic steps that you should take for a more mental health new year.

Mental health
Self-care is the new empowerment and it is beneficial for your mental health. Pixabay

Give yourself priority

Self-care is the new empowerment. While we grapple with the growing mental health crisis, it is high time that we prioritise self-love and self-compassion. As most of the psychology studies attest self-love along with compassion is the key to strong mental health.

Practising self-love is not about being self-absorbed or being narcissistic, it is like following a subtle way to get in touch with your inner self, your happiness, and your well-being. It is basically the act of looking after yourself, both physically and mentally, so you are able to push through your limiting beliefs and live a life that truly shines.

So, do yourself a favour, just take a deep breath, give yourself a little hug and start practising the art of self-love.

Take a break (vacation)

No matter how many lists you make or goals you set, things are still going to get stressful and busy. It is scientifically proven that hitting the pause button in your life has some incredible health benefits that far outweigh anything you think you might miss out on.

Trust us, you’ll feel refreshed which will ultimately double your productivity. That said, if you still can’t take time out to fly on a vacation, there are things you can do even in the most jam-packed days, like incorporating mindfulness. Try to absorb the idea of being in the present by taking a break from all the distractions with a kind heart and an open mind. You can incorporate mindfulness in your daily activities by bringing a wave of awareness and compassion to the things that you are already occupied with, such as during your commute or gym-time or even while eating a meal. Devoting a few moments to fully focus on a task at hand (mind you, you have to put all other thoughts away) can work wonders for your mental health.

You can try beginning each day with a five-minute mindfulness meditation session. If you find it helpful and want to go further then you can choose to opt for therapy to unravel a lifelong pattern, hire a personal trainer, or make time for reading.

Mental health
Going for a vacation can help improve your mental health. Pixabay

Exercise

Exercising may be the last thing you want to do when you’re on your downer or feeling overly stressed, but experts agree that exercising is one of the finest yet most powerful ways to boost your mental health. It is imperative to exercise for 15-30 minutes, three days a week in order to manage stress and anxiety.

Sure, working out can be time-consuming, but your chosen form of exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be physical, it can be an emotional and spiritual one too. When people think of exercise, they only consider going to the gym or doing some in-house cardio. Be that as it may, the way to mental wellness is to establish a mind-body connection: be sure to pay attention to your spiritual, mental, and emotional counterparts, too.

Your mental health is dependent on all these four counterparts, together. Try to understand this in the form of trickle-down effect: The physical body is often affected by the sudden play of emotions, our thoughts are directly proportionate to how we feel, and it is our energy level which sways our minds and ultimately our thoughts.

You can fully access the spiritual aspect of your being by maintaining a daily connection with your soul and religion.

Tell yourself something positive

An adjustment to your everyday vocabulary, both in your thoughts and out loud can very well improve your mental health. It may sound trite to you but looking on the bright side of everything really does matter. Instead of always focusing on the negative side, flip your dialogue towards positive outcomes. In addition to keeping up with positive mental health, it will also keep you motivated. For example, rather than saying, “If I bag that job”, switch to, “When I bag that job”. These small changes in your language will do the deal for you and change your mindset to a glass half full instead of glass half empty. Understand this as a fact that when you perceive yourself and your life negatively, you end up viewing experiences, particularly in a way that confirms the very same notion. When you start using positive words instead, you are more likely to promote feelings of self-worth and personal power.

Also Read- 5 Herbs That Will Help you Fight Work Stress

Prioritise mental well-being

So, yes. Mental health awareness is good. It’s important to be aware of something that affects nearly a quarter of the population of this world. Basically, someone experiencing a mental health problem or going through a mental crisis may not even realise this and may need help and assistance to even accept they have an issue that requires dealing with it. There is no shame in seeking professional help in times of need. You can find yourself a therapist who is variably proactive to patiently listen and give you tools that will help. (IANS)