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“Sleep Linked to Good Mental Health”

We sleep for 1/3 of our lifetimes or about 24.9 years. People who cannot sleep, die. Rats die after about 17 days of total sleep deprivation. A new study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, found that future lifestyle interventions targeting sleep quality may be most beneficial at improving mental health and wellbeing. Young adults should prioritize getting good quality sleep, but they also stress the importance of eating well and exercising often since “physical activity and diet” are secondary but still significant factors. The study ranked sleep, physical activity and diet as influencers of good mental health. Sleep, physical activity, and a healthy diet can be thought of as three pillars of health, which could contribute to promoting optimal well-being among young adults. Sleep quality outranked them all as the strongest predictor of good mental health. People who slept close to 10 hours per night reported fewer depressive symptoms, but not enough (<8 h) or too much sleep (>12 h) had people reporting more symptoms of depression. Eating moderate servings of raw fruit and veggies each day also correlated with better wellbeing. Some previous research suggests healthy behaviors such as eating well or exercising often can have a synergistic effect on wellbeing. Researchers have shown no adverse effect of nighttime exercise on sleep. In fact, exercise and sleep can be mutually beneficial. Disrupted sleep has been linked to poor mental health before, including depression and other mood disorders.

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