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Sleep quality of students from elementary school to university: a cross-sectional study

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journal contribution
posted on 29.01.2021, 00:31 by B Liu, F Gao, J Zhang, H Zhou, N Sun, L Li, L Liang, N Ning, Qunhong Wu, M Zhao
© 2020 Liu et al. Background: Sleep affects a wide array of health outcomes and is associated with the quality of life. Among students, sleep quality is affected by school stage and grade; however, data regarding the different sleep-related problems students experience at different school stages are limited. In this study, we aimed to explore sleep quality among a student sample ranging from elementary school to university level. Methods: Overall, data were examined for 9392 subjects aged 9–22 years. Information on sociodemographic characteristics and other variables were collected through selfadministered questionnaires. Sleep quality on school nights was evaluated using the standard Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; global score >5 was classified as poor sleep quality. For the high school sample, logistic regression analysis was used to estimate associations between sleep quality and certain factors. Results: Of the elementary school, middle school, vocational high school, senior high school, and university students, 7.5%, 19.2%, 28.6%, 41.9%, and 28.5%, respectively, showed poor sleep quality. The high school students reported the highest prevalence of shorter sleep duration (70.8%), day dysfunction (84.7%), and subjective poor sleep quality (17.2%). The elementary school students showed the highest prevalence of poor sleep efficiency (17.9%). The university students showed the highest prevalence of sleep medication use (6.4%). The vocational high school students reported the highest prevalence of sleep latency (6.3%) and sleep disturbance (7.4%). Logistic regression modeling indicated that sleep quality is positively associated with school stage, grade, family atmosphere, academic pressure, and number of friends. Conclusion: Sleep quality and sleep features change greatly from elementary school to university. Interventions to improve sleep quality should consider targeting the specific issues students experience at each school stage. Alarmed by the high prevalence of poor sleep quality among high school students, it is recommended that high school students should be informed of their sleep matter and the consequences.


This study was supported by the National Social Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 19AZD013). The authors would like to express our appreciation to all of the individuals for their involvement in the study, including each of the school teachers and students for their support during the data collection.


Publication Date



Nature and Science of Sleep




10p. (p. 855-864)


Dove Medical Press



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