Mental Health News: Sleep quality is an important predictor of mental health and well-being in young adults, whereas exercise and eating more raw fruits and vegetables are secondary but still significant factors, a University of Otago study revealed.
Researchers surveyed more than 1100 young adults ages 18–25 from New Zealand and the United States about their sleep quality, sleep quantity, physical activity, consumption of food (raw and processed fruit and vegetables, fast food, sweets, and soda) and the outcome measures of depressive symptoms and well-being.
Results showed that sleep quality was the strongest predictor of depressive symptoms and well-being, followed by sleep quantity and physical activity. Only one dietary factor—raw fruit and vegetable consumption—predicted greater well-being but not depressive symptoms.
Most sleep recommendations emphasize the quantity of sleep. But, this study found that sleeping for less than eight hours or more than 12 hours, were associated with higher depressive symptoms and lower well-being
The research published in Frontiers in Psychology, has important implications for future interventions that could prioritize sleep quality to maximize mental health and well-being in young adults.
To Know More, You May Refer To
Wickham, S., Amarasekara, N. A., Bartonicek, A., & Conner, T. S. (2020). The big three health behaviors and mental health and well-being among young adults: A cross-sectional investigation of sleep, exercise, and diet. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.579205