How sleep affects your mental health: A Harvard study

nachdenkliche Frau mit dunklen Haaren

The study conducted by Harvard Medical School provides important insights into the link between sleep quality and mental health by presenting concrete facts and figures. The researchers have intensively investigated how sleep deprivation and sleep disorders can affect our mental health.

Anxiety disorders
A key finding of the study is that sleep plays a key role in our emotional well-being. Specifically, it was found that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep per night are 40% more likely to suffer from severe anxiety disorders in the course of their lives. This highlights the serious impact of sleep deprivation on our mental health.

Depressive disorder
The study also highlights the link between sleep deprivation and depression. People who regularly get less than 7 hours of sleep per night have a 55% increased risk of developing a depressive disorder in their lifetime. This underlines the alarming consequences of sleep deprivation on mental health.

In addition to the emotional and psychological aspects, the study also looked at the cognitive effects of sleep deprivation. It was found that people who suffer chronically from sleep problems have a 30% reduction in cognitive performance. This manifests itself in reduced attention, difficulty concentrating and an impaired ability to solve complex problems.

Mental disorder
The Harvard study also focuses on the long-term consequences of sleep deprivation for mental health. Chronic sleep deprivation can significantly increase the risk of serious mental disorders, with concrete figures showing that people who consistently get less than 6 hours of sleep per night have a 70% higher risk of suffering from serious mental illness over the course of their lives.

Overall, this comprehensive research highlights the close link between sleep and mental health, with concrete figures underlining the urgency of better sleep hygiene and sleep quality. It is crucial to improve our sleep habits in order to protect and strengthen our mental health. Maintaining good sleep hygiene, identifying signs of sleep problems and targeting the prevention of sleep deprivation are crucial to minimize the risk of negative mental health effects.

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Source: Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, 'Sleep deprivation can affect your mental health', August 2021,

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