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Alert Night Owls! Proper Sleep-Wake Behavior Helps Deal With Mental Health Disorders During Covid-19

The COVID-19 epidemic and the ensuing economic downturn have had a severe impact on many people’s mental health and created additional hurdles for those who already suffer from mental illness or substance abuse problems. With stay-at-home and remote-work directives, working late, sleeping late, and for short hours have become a norm. However, several surveys have suggested that irregular sleep patterns contribute to mental health problems. There is a strong association between sleep and mental health. Also Read – Does COVID-19 Infection In Pregnant Women Affect The Baby? Govt Issues Fresh Vaccination Guidelines

To understand the link between sleep and mental health during the pandemic, a new study was conducted by a consortium of researchers from the United States and Australia. Researchers examined the objective sleep-wake data and the influence of COVID-19 on the mental health of people in the United States. Also Read – COVID-19 Live Updates: Yogi Adityanath Issues Fresh Guidelines To Curb The Spread Of Delta+ Variant

Understanding The Link Between Sleep Deprivation And Mental Health

There’s no doubt that proper sleep is crucial to maintain good health. Studies have also suggested that sleep deprivation can have a direct impact on psychological state and mental health. Not only that but not getting enough sleep also raises the risk of serious illnesses such as diabetes, heart diseases and cancer. Also Read – Delhi Gyms Reopen: 5 Precautions You Must Take To Stay Safe From COVID-19 At The Gym

Impaired sleep, sleep disturbances and insufficient sleep are all problems that can lead to mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. People are at a higher risk of developing these mental health problems due to the secluded lifestyle and minimal social contact due to the inevitable Covid-19. While lockdowns are necessary to reduce the spread of the virus, that doesn’t mean that following a proper sleep-wake cycle should be neglected.

Multidisciplinary research objectives have centred on discovering optimum sleep-wake patterns to promote mental health in the aftermath of isolating effects that result in depressed and anxious states. In the first phase of COVID-19, survey data revealed a connection between poor sleep quality, inadequate sleep, and experiencing negative mental and behavioural health symptoms.

The study, which was published in the current pre-print, looked at objective sleep and mental health in 20,717 people in the United States using a validated sleep wearable both before and during the COVID-19 epidemic. For the study, the researchers used a wide range of factors, including length, sleep start, sleep offset, sleep consistency, and waking following sleep onset. It was discovered that those who had persistent sleep issues and a lack of regularity in their sleep were more likely to have mental health problems.

How Can One Overcome These Mental Problems?

The study concluded that COVID-19 mandates such as remote working from home and a lack of social interaction had a substantial impact on individual isolation. Based on the findings, it is clear that sleep has a major impact on mental health, as well as what behavioural treatments may do to help individuals more resilient throughout the pandemic.

Experts believe that a person should sleep for at least 6-7 hours a day to keep their mental health in check. As per the study, a person who sleeps for less than 6 hours is more likely to suffer from mental issues such as depression and anxiety. It is also true when it comes to sleep schedule inconsistency.

However, there are certain limitations to the study including the fact that the study is not peer-reviewed yet. Also, the participants were predominantly male, highly educated, employed and had a higher than average income. This might be construed as a study bias, preventing the research from being representative of the population.

Published : June 29, 2021 3:02 pm

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