ALMOST half of adults in Scotland (49%) say poor sleep negatively affects their mental health, according to a new report published today by Mental Health Foundation.

The Taking Sleep Seriously: Sleep and our Mental Health report found that more than one-third of Scottish adults (36%) said sleeping poorly had made them feel more anxious over the previous month.

More than four in 10 (41%) said poor sleep over the previous month had made them feel more stressed and overwhelmed, and 42% said poor sleep had made them feel more irritable or angry.

Meanwhile, 43% of Scottish teenagers agreed poor sleep has a negative effect on their mental health. The research is published by the Mental Health Foundation to coincide with the first Monday morning after the clocks change and was based on two surveys carried out in March.

The foundation’s director for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Lee Knifton, said: “We are concerned that our research shows poor sleep is having a negative impact on so many people across Scotland.

“We know the additional pressures of the pandemic and associated restrictions are taking their toll on people’s mental health. This study shows that the negative effect of poor sleep was already an issue for a significant number of people, requiring urgent action.

“We call on Scottish Government to recognise sleep as a key factor for improving mental health and take action on some of the structural and social barriers to good sleep.”

The report was advised by world-leading Scots-born sleep medicine specialist Professor Colin Espie of the University of Oxford.

Espie, founding director of the University of Glasgow Sleep Centre, said: “Sleep is a ‘need to have’, just like oxygen, water and food.

“We need to value and prioritise the benefits of sleep, because good sleep has a very significant positive impact on our mental health.

We also need to do much more as a society to get sleep on to the health agenda.”