235828 Sleep quality and perceived effects among college students

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nancy K. Sonleitner, PhD , Department of Behavioral Sciences, University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, TN
Deborah J. Gibson, PhD CHES , Health and Human Performance, University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, TN
Sleep is among one of our basic needs. Unfortunately, sleep is one of the first needs neglected among college students. Inadequate and low quality sleep has been linked to physical and psychological problems, including obesity and chronic disease, depression, anxiety, substance abuse disorders, accidents due to dulled reaction time and inability to pay attention. The college years are known for being a time when sleep is not a high priority. Increased stress, heavy course loads, athletics, work and socializing all affect quality and quantity of sleep. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of impaired sleep among college students attending a small mid-south university and to determine the perceived effect sleep quality has on daily functioning and academic performance. Utilizing a modified version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, 394 college students were surveyed regarding their sleep habits. Overall sleep quality was reported to be fairly bad or very bad among 24% of the total sample. Eighty percent believed that the amount of sleep they got affected their test scores, and 95% thought that their grades suffered because of sleep deprivation. Thirty-four percent, due to lack of sleep, had experienced difficulty driving, eating meals, or engaging in social activities in the past month, while 19% of the total sample had taken some type of medication to help them sleep. This presentation will cover the findings of this study and discuss recommendations to address sleep issues among college student populations.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the impact of sleep quality and quantity on academic performance Discuss the physical and psychological impact of sleep deprivation Name at least one program developed to address sleep hygiene on college campuses

Keywords: Behavior Modification, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Ph.D. in Community Health and am a Certified Health Education Specialist. I am a Professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at the University of Tennessee at Martin.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.