Sleep Quality Among University Students: Evaluating the Impact of Smoking, Social Media Use, and Energy Drink Consumption on Sleep Quality and Anxiety
The purpose of our study was to assess the sleep quality among university students in the UAE, as well as finding the factors that might influence it. Besides that, we looked briefly at the consequences that poor sleep quality might lead to.
Our study was conducted on university student. 105 males and 185 females voluntarily participated in the study. It was found that 67% of the students actually suffer from sleep disturbances and poor sleep quality. This correlates with two studies done in Taiwan and the US, which showed that most college students suffer from sleep disturbances. However, factors chosen did not show any significance to establish a connection leading to the poor sleep quality ( Taylor, 2004; Buboltz, 2001).
Gender difference was not significant although previous studies show that women reported more sleep disturbances than men6. Different age groups didnot really show any significance (p=0.356), although the group of students older than 24 years of age had the better sleep quality than the other two groups (28% compared to 34% and 48%).
Previous studies show that smoking alters the normal sleeping pattern and causes poor sleep quality (Mesquita, 2011). Our study also showed that non-smokers had a better sleep quality (25%) than smokers (75%), but this did not have a strong significance (p=0.192).
Non-users of social networking, such as Facebook, msn, and twitter, had a better sleep quality than users. However, those using social networking for 0.5-2 hours a day had the best sleep quality among the groups, but the result again cannot be taken into consideration due to the non-significant p value (p= 0.242).
It was interesting to find out the effects of poor sleep quality among students on their activities during the day. When the students were asked about the number of classes missed during the previous month due to lack of sleep, we found that 62% of the students who never missed any class had a good sleeping pattern, while only 11% of them missed more than 5 classes. Conversely, 58% of students who have sleep disturbances missed 1 or more class in the previous month. This result was quite significant (p= 0.014).
Moreover, most of the students who slept during classes were found have bad sleep quality. 29% of students with good sleep quality slept during the class, compared with 42% of those with bad sleep quality. Again, this result showed high significance (p=0.017).
One of the results with great significance (p=0.001) was feeling anxious during the day due to sleeping disturbances. Only 35% of students having good sleep quality suffered from anxiety, while on the other hand it was 63% for students having poor sleep quality. This showsthat a good night’s sleep has a great impact on feeling comfortable during the day, and decreases anxiety levels.
Most of the students have bad sleep quality, regardless of age, gender, and major studied. Significant results were not established among the factors leading to bad sleep quality. Smoking, exercise or stimulant drinking did not seem to have an influence on sleep quality. On the other hand, poor sleepers missed more morning classes and felt more anxious during the day.The results can be used by academic counselors, and by the students themselves, in order to have better sleep patterns, and to improve their daily activities.Further research could be conducted to assess other factors which might influence sleep quality, especially behavioral and lifestyle factors.
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