Mental distress linked to shorter sleep durations in young adults

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Washington, Sep 02 (ANI): A new study has suggested that young adults who get fewer than eight hours of sleep per night have greater risks of psychological distress, a combination of high levels of depressive and anxious symptoms.

Using an average self-reported nightly sleep duration of eight to nine hours as a reference, the study found a linear association between sleep durations of less than eight hours and psychological distress in young adults between 17 and 24 years of age.

The risk of psychological distress increased by 14 percent for each hour of nightly sleep loss, such that those sleeping less than six hours a night were twice as likely to be experiencing distress as average sleepers.

"In young adults already experiencing distress, the fewer hours they sleep the worse the outcome across the range of sleep hours," said lead author Dr. Nick Glozier, associate professor of psychological medicine at the Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Centre for Integrated Research and Understanding of Sleep (CIRUS) at the University of Sydney in Australia.

Participants without psychological distress at baseline who reported sleeping five hours or less per night were three times more likely to be distressed one year later (RR 3.25).

A randomly selected subsample of 2,937 participants completed a follow-up survey between 12 and 18 months after the baseline survey.

A new onset of psychological distress was found in 239 of 1,992 participants (12 percent) who did not report psychological distress at baseline.

Persistent psychological distress was found in 419 of 945 respondents (44 percent) who were distressed at baseline.

The study has been published in the journal SLEEP. (ANI)

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