Picture for illustration purposes only.
PHOTO BY ARCHIVE
DUBAI – Sleep and mental health are so closely related that it has been widely viewed that sleep disorders – such as insomnia – are common symptoms of depression and other psychological illnesses.
There is mounting research evidence, however, that suggest sleep deprivation can actually contribute to the development of some mental disorders.
Among the most recent studies to generate evidence pointing to insomnia as a cause to psychological problems is a research conducted by scientists from the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford in the UK.
The analysis from the randomised controlled trial revealed that “sleep disruption is a driving factor in the occurrence of paranoia, hallucinatory experiences, and other mental health problems in young adults with an average age of 25”.
The tests involved 3,755 university students across the UK, in which one group received online cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for insomnia, while the other group were not given access to standard treatments.
Those who received the CBT sleep treatment exhibited large reductions in insomnia, as well as small, sustained reductions in paranoia and hallucinatory experiences.
The treatment also led to improvements in depression, anxiety, nightmares, psychological well-being, and daytime work and home functioning. Researchers said the results of the trial only proves that insomnia may actually be a contributory cause of psychological difficulties.
Dr. Shadi Sharifi, Specialist Neurologist at the Saudi German Hospital Dubai, French Board of Sleep Medicine and member of Emirates Neurology Society, said, “Our brain and body stay remarkably active while we sleep. Sleep deficiency has negative impact on our brain functions and impair the nerves cells’ connections, which in the long term might progress to many chronic health conditions such as cognitive dysfunction, depression, anxiety, heart failure, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, etc.”
“Both adequate amount and quality of sleep are important to our optimal daily performances and activities,” added Dr. Shadi, who will be among the key speakers at the Sleep Expo Middle East from April 11 to 13 at Dubai Festival City Arena.
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