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SLEEP QUALITY AND SLEEP DURATION IN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: A TRANSCULTURAL STUDY
Sleep is fundamental to the optimal functioning of the human organism and its overall wellbeing. Due to several characteristics, the academic context poses as a risk to sleep health.
To describe the prevalence of self-reported poor sleep quality, as well as short sleep duration, in university students of three different countries.
The data was obtained from three independent studies with first-year undergraduate students, carried out at different times in Brazil, Chile, and Spain. These studies included 571, 772 and 487 students, respectively. Subjective sleep quality was determined using the question: “During the past month, how would you rate your sleep quality overall?” Responses were rated on a four-point scale, ranging from very good to very bad. Responses “very good/fairly good” were defined as optimal sleep quality, and “fairly bad/very bad” were defined as suboptimal sleep quality. The students were also asked, “Approximately, how long do you usually sleep at night?” Responses were later categorized as less than seven hours, seven to eight hours and more than eight hours per night.
Of the total 1.830 students included in all three studies, 61,6% were women and the mean age was 20.0 ± 3.6 years. Overall, 555 students (30.2%) reported short sleep duration (< 7h), with the higher prevalence happening in Brazil (n=287; 50.3%) and the lower in Chile (n=144; 18.7%). Spain’s prevalence was of 124 students (25.5%). Suboptimal sleep quality was reported by 678 students (37,0%). The Brazilian population also showed the higher prevalence of suboptimal sleep quality (n=248; 43.4%), followed by Chile (n=321; 41.6%) and Spain (n=109; 22.4%).
First-year university students from Brazil, Chile and Spain have all reported poor sleep quality and short sleep duration. The occurrence of sleep disorders in this population could not only affect their quality of life, but also their academic performance and general health. Although further transcultural studies are needed to explore protective and risk factors, these results show that sleep problems remain relevant public health issues among young adults, despite different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
Sleep; Students; Universities; Transcultural Study.
Universidade Estadual de Londrina - Paraná - Brasil
Rafaela Sirtoli, Teresa Balboa-Castillo, Rubén Fernández-Rodríguez, Renne Rodrigues, Gladys Ruth Morales Illanes, Miriam Garrido-Miguel, Camilo Molino Guidoni, Arthur Eumann Mesas