Why you MUST get your seven hours' sleep

Getting just six hours, or less, sleep a night raises people's risk of depression by up to 80 percent, new research suggests, according to Daily Mail.

Having just one hour under the recommended seven hours of shut eye a night also increases people's risk of feeling nervous, helpless or restless by between 60 and 80 percent, a study found.

Women are particularly sensitive to the effects of insomnia, which the researchers believe may be due to their hormones making them more at risk of depression anyway. 

 Research released earlier this year suggested insomniacs are less able to overcome negative thoughts or disengage from upsetting emotions than those who get sufficient shut eye. 

Doctors should consider sleep when treating depression 

The researchers, believe their findings should encourage healthcare professionals to consider patients' sleep habits when treating mental-health disorders.

They analysed 20,851 people who took in a 2012 telephone-based survey.

The participants were asked how often in the past 30 days they felt nervous, helpless, restless, depressed or that their mental health was 'not good'.

They also recorded the number of hours of sleep they get a day. 

Eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains slashes the risk of depression

This comes after research released earlier this year suggested eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains slashes people's risk of depression by more than 10 percent.

Following the so-called 'DASH diet' reduces people's likelihood of developing the mental-health disorder by up to 11 percent, a study found.

Those who eat a typical Western diet, which is rich in processed foods and sugar, are more at risk of suffering depression, the research adds.

Researchers add further studies are required to determine the association between diet and mental health, but add simple lifestyle changes may be preferred over medication to control such conditions.

Previous research suggests eating lots of fresh produce benefits people's mental health by improving their moods, giving them more energy and helping them to think clearly. 

The Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (DASH) way of eating is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meat, whole grains and fish.

It is low in processed foods, sugary drinks, salt and red meat.

As well as being linked to better mental health, DASH is to prevent and control hypertension.