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PRACTICE OF FREE-TIME PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SLEEP QUALITY IN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
Although poor sleep quality is highly prevalent among university students, and approximately half of them do little or no free-time physical activity (FTPA), the association between both conditions is unclear.
This study analyzed the association between the practice of FTPA and sleep quality by sex in university students.
A cross-sectional analysis was conducted with data from undergraduate students from a public university located in southern Brazil obtained through an online questionnaire in 2019. FTPA was assessed with a single question about the weekly frequency of any physical activity, and sleep quality with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). For the statistical analysis, logistic regression models were adjusted for age, body mass index (BMI) and depressive symptoms.
A total of 2,721 students were studied (68.1% female, mean age of 21.9 ± 4.4 years). The prevalence of poor sleep quality (PSQI>5) was 75.6%, and 71.1% of poor sleepers were female. More than half (52.1%) of the students did not practice FTPA, among which 57.3% were female. Female students who practiced FTPA ≥4x/week had lower likelihood of reporting poor sleep quality compared with those who did not practice FTPA, regardless of age, BMI and depressive symptoms (odds ratio [OR]=0.66; 95% confidence interval [CI]:0.44-0.99). A similar association was observed in males regardless of age and BMI (OR=0.58; 95%CI:0.39-0.86), but the statistical significance was not maintained after adjusting the model for depressive symptoms (OR=0.79; 95%CI:0.49-1.26).
In summary, practicing free-time physical activity for at least 4 times per week was associated with a reduced likelihood of reporting poor sleep quality in university students of both sexes, regardless of age and BMI. In addition, information on depressive symptoms is essential to be considered as a potential confounder, particularly in males. Future prospective observational and experimental studies are required to examine whether the increased frequency and intensity of FTPA leads to an improved sleep quality and lower risk of sleep disturbances among young adults.
physical activity, sleep, university student, sex
Universidade Estadual de Londrina - Paraná - Brasil
Mayara Cristina da Silva Santos, Rafaela Sirtoli, Renne Rodrigues, Camilo Molino Guidoni, Arthur Eumann Mesas