Can a lack of sleep cause depression?

A new report carried out by the Mental Health Foundation reveals that those who suffer from sleep disorders experience higher rates of depression and other mental health concerns

The Mental Health Foundation has today published its Sleep Matters report, highlighting the impact sleep has on our health and wellbeing. It marks the launch of a major new campaign to raise awareness of the link between sleep and our mental and physical health.

Over 30% of the population currently suffers from insomnia or another sleep disorder, and the report details that far from being a major irritation, sleep disorders put sufferers at significantly greater risk of health problems, including varying degrees of depression and anxiety.


THE GOOD SLEEP GUIDE: TOP TIPS TO SLEEP BETTER

Dr Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, says: ‘Whilst great emphasis is rightly placed on the importance of diet and exercise, sleep has for too long been neglected as a major influence on physical and mental health.

‘With stress and longer working hours on the rise in the current economic climate, it is crucial that we now treat the issue of sleep problems as the major public health concern it is.’

The Great British Sleep Survey, the largest of it’s kind, claims that those who have difficulty sleeping arefour times as likely to encounter relationship problems and three times as likely to experience low mood and lack of concentration.

The Mental Health Foundation report of 5,300 people suggests that just 39% of us in the UK sleep well, and is calling for campaigns to make the public more aware of the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.

Experts claim that although it varies among individuals, adults need at least five hours of uninterrupted sleep every day to enable them to function and concentrate properly.

Dr Dan Robotham, lead author of Sleep Matters says: ‘Poor sleep can lead to mental health problems, and mental health problems can lead to poor sleep. It is crucial that people are aware of the effective ways of breaking that downward spiral by improving the quality of their sleep.’

‘Employers, school and public health bodies also need to know how they can identify and support people suffering from sleep disorders.’

For more information and to read the full Sleep Matters report, visit www.HowDidYouSleep.org

THE GOOD SLEEP GUIDE: TOP TIPS TO SLEEP BETTER

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