Researchers concluded that having adequate sleep and spending less time on screen could improve mental health.

Stronger Mental Health Associates With Less Screen Time and Adequate Sleep
(Photo : Gaelle Marcel/Unsplash)
Stronger Mental Health Associates With Less Screen Time and Adequate Sleep

An extensive analysis of data from the UK Biobank showed that with enough sleep, less screen time, and proper dietary changes, a person could reduce the risk of depression and improve mental health.

According to Mental Daily, the research team from Western Sydney University evaluated almost 80,000 individual's data. The study was published in the journal of BMC Medicine. It assessed a broad range of lifestyle and other variables linked to mental conditions, including depression.

Jerome Sarris, the study's lead author, said that the research is the first evaluation of such a broad range of lifestyle factors and how it affects depression symptoms through the large UK Biobank lifestyle and mood dataset.

Sarris also states in a news release, "While people usually know that physical activity is important for mood, we now have additional data showing that adequate sleep and less screen time is also critical to reduce depression."

He added that the results might inform the public health policy by highlighting the crucial relationship between people supported and encouraged to engage in a range of health-promoting activities. Maintaining enough sleep and decreasing screen time may reduce the symptoms of depression. 

Several prior peer-reviewed studies advocating for implementing those lifestyle factors were vindicated to the results of the study, to reduce depressive symptoms. 

Read also: Earwax Test Could Determine Stress Levels and Risk of Depression

According to MSN, cases of depression surge in recent years and become a cause of worry among health experts. The team of researchers hopes that these findings could help in the better formulation of public health policies. Here are what the study findings suggest:

  • Physical activity between seven and nine hours of sleep and a healthy diet can reduce the frequency of depressed mood.
  • Depressed mood is more frequent in cases of increased screen time and tobacco smoking. 
  • Optimal sleep and less screen time help prevent depression in the long term among individuals with clinical depression and those who suffer the depressive disorder. Moreover, a healthier diet is an added factor in preventing depressive symptoms only among individuals without depression.
  • Surprisingly, researchers concluded that frequent alcohol consumption reduces the frequency of depressed moods among depressed patients. It is potentially due to alcohol use as a self-medication purpose by depressed individuals to manage their moods. 

Meanwhile, Scimex shared five smart tips to help a person's mental wellness and mood: 

  1. Maintain 7-9 hours of sleep each day.
  2. Limit time spent on-screen or using gadgets such as computers, smartphones, tablets, and televisions, especially late in the evening.
  3. Ensure to have a whole-food diet, including complex carbohydrates, lean protein, fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes, adequate fiber/prebiotic foods, and poly-unsaturated fats with less processed foods consumed. 
  4. Limit or avoid alcohol and tobacco consumption. 
  5. Engaged 2-5 hours of physical activity of moderate intensity and muscle strengthening sessions weekly.

Read also: Here's How a Good Night's Sleep Could Help Prevent Coronavirus, Based on this Study