The relationship between depression and insomnia symptoms amongst a sample of UK university students

Umair Akram, Asha Akram, Maria Gardani, Antonia Ypsilanti, Kristofor McCarty, Sarah Allen, Lambros Lazuras

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Abstract

Research exploring the relationship between mental health difficulties and insomnia amongst students in the UK remains limited. This study further examined the extent of potential relationships between insomnia, anxiety and depression symptoms amongst university students in the UK. A sample of 487 students from four northern universities completed The Insomnia Severity Index, SLEEP-50, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scales. Approximately one fifth of students experienced mild to severe levels of depressive symptoms, and two thirds reported anxious symptoms. One quarter of students indicated insomnia symptoms in the clinical range, however the prevalence of sleep-disorders other than insomnia remained low ( < 5%). Finally, symptoms of insomnia and apnoea were significantly related to depression, after controlling for co-morbid anxiety. The current outcomes highlight the high prevalence of depressive and insomnia symptoms amongst university students in the UK. Considering the relationship between insomnia and depression, student- focused mental health services should explore the possibility of treating insomnia to circumvent depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
JournalSleep Medicine Research
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

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