Stressors participants of the current study will be

        Stressors can lead to elevated of
hormones such as cortisol (often described as a “stress hormone”),
and able to reduce serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine,
which also has found to be linked to depression (Van Praag, 2004). When these hormones
and neurotransmitters function normally, the biological processes such as
appetite, sleep, moods and emotions can also function normally (Leonard, 2001).
In a study conducted by Ahmad and Mazlan (2014), people who experience
depressive symptoms were found to be more affected by stressful life events when
compared to those without depression. In addition, people who are depressed was
found to experience more stressful life events. Rodents were used in an
experiment to test the relationship between stress and depression as
researchers have found that rodents and humans react to stress in the same way
(Beery & Kaufer, 2015). The researchers exposed several different dramatic
changes that can be stressful events to the rodents’ environment for a period
of eight weeks. The results of the experiment supported the hypothesis of the
current study, as the rodents who exposed to stressful life events showed
symptoms of depression that are similar to humans such as having poorer
learning ability, unable to feel joy, and having poorer sleep patterns. However,
the participants of the current study will be human beings and specifically
focused on university students only. The relationship between stress and
depression can also be explained in another way, by that people who are
stressed often neglect the practices of a healthy lifestyle. Study found that
stress can reduce the innate ability of the brain to function normally and
healthily (Hammen, 2005). People who are stressed out often drink and smoke
more than normal people do as they believe that these behaviours help to
release their stress. Besides, they are also more likely to neglect regular
exercise. In fact, these behaviours in turn, can actually increase the risk of developing
major depression. For example, if a person loss his/her job, it can be a blow
to his/her self-esteem, he may experience self-blame, and also loss of social
contacts, which all of these behaviours can increase the risk of him/her
developing depression.

        Sleep
Quality and Depressive Symptoms. Sleep is essential
for our health and wellbeing. For students of any age, getting sufficient
amount of sleep was found to predict better academic achievement and
performance (cite).
We probably already know that sleep is important, but we may not know how
serious the consequences would be if we do not get sufficient sleep or do not
have a good sleep quality. Skimping on sleep can actually cause stress and depression
(cite). Several studies have consistently reported that especially adolescents
and university students usually do not get enough sleep and have poorer sleep
quality as compared to the general population as they often stayed up late
(Liu, 2004;
Thomee, Harenstam, & Hagberg,
2011; Mueller, Sara, & Goddard, 2014). They tend to neglect their sleep by
spending their night time hanging out with friends, playing online games,
and/or doing their assignments and school works. Furthermore, the use of
electronic devices has become prevalent worldwide for people of any age group,
particularly adolescents. It has become an essential part of our everyday life,
where the first thing we probably be doing when we wake up, and also the last
thing before going to bed is scrolling through the social media. According to
Seo, Kim, Yang, and Hong (2016), the use of electronic devices in the bedroom will
affect our sleep patterns and sleep quality. Considering the bright light of
the devices’ screens, the last media use time and the actual bedtime, the
content of the media that is violent, and/or the probability of being awakened
by the ring or vibration of the electronic devices while sleeping. All of the
statements discussed above was found to be able to affect one’s sleep quality
(Seo et al., 2016). According to Selvi et al. (2010), individuals can be
divided into two opposing chronotypes, namely the morning-type and the
evening-type. Morning types wake up early, at their best and being most
productive during first part of the day. In contrast, evening types are the
‘night owls’ that are more alert and productive later in the day. Researchers
suggested that evening types are more likely to experience poorer sleep habits,
higher levels of daytime sleepiness, have the most irregular sleep-wake habits.
To say the least, they tend to have poorer sleep quality (cite). Results from
another study has pointed out that evening-types are more likely to have higher
rates of depressive symptoms as compared with the morning-types (cite).

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             Mueller et al. (2014) pointed out
that problematic sleep such as sleep deprivation can impact our prefrontal
cortex. It is associated with our emotional responses as well as controlling
the three neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine) that
function as our mood regulation. Sleep deprived individuals have increased
feelings of irritability and mood disturbances, and have difficulty with
emotional lability. Thus, can increase the vulnerability of experiencing mood
disorders that are associated with depressive symptoms (cite). Approximately 75% of the adolescents
that were diagnosed with major depressive disorder showed some form of the symptoms
of insomnia, and those who reported sleeping less than seven hours a night reported
increased symptoms of depression (Nutt, Wilson, & Paterson, 2008). When
comparing the electroencephalograph (EEG) readings of depressed and
non-depressed individuals, the results indicated that there were disturbances
in the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in individuals with depressive symptoms
(Mueller et al., 2014). One study by Taylor (2008) focused on the amygdala,
which is a structure located in the brain’s medial temporal lobe that plays an
important role in our emotions. Participants of the study who had been sleep
deprived for about 35hours showed a greater amygdala response when they were presented
with emotionally negative pictures, compared to those who were not been sleep
deprived, meaning that the participants who had been sleep deprived were less
able to control their emotions.

        There was ambiguity about the cause and
effect relationship between depression and sleep. It remains unclear whether poor
sleep quality leads to depressive symptoms, or depressive symptoms somehow
causes poor sleep quality. However, researchers suggested that the relationship
between sleep and depression actually goes both ways, which means that sleep
problems can lead to having depressive symptoms, and vice versa (cite). Trying to tease apart which problem comes first, and under what
circumstances that the problems happen are difficult, because it depends on
when the problems occur in life. People with depression may have unstoppable
thoughts or have sleep disturbances that will disrupt the process of them falling
and staying asleep. They may wake intermittently throughout the night or stay
awake and unable to sleep again. We should always think sleep as a risk factor for depression, considering that
high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart attack. They were much in the same
way as not everyone with high cholesterol will experience heart attack, but it
increases a person’s risk in experiencing heart attack. While not everyone with
poor sleep quality will develop depression, but the risk of developing
depression is higher than people with healthy sleep quality. According to Chang,
Ford, Mead, Cooper-Patrick, and Klag (1997), the risk of developing depression
for people with poorer sleep quality is estimated to be three to ten times
greater than those who have healthy sleep quality. Research conducted by
Supartini et al. (2016) studied the impact of sleep quality, sleep duration and
sleep timing on depressive symptoms and the results indicated a significant
association between these variables, which supported the hypothesis of the
current study.