Sleep in Students: Implications for Higher Education

Johnson, Jennifer, M., Durrant, Simon, J., Spacey, Rachel and Miller, Kirsty, A. (2018) Sleep in Students: Implications for Higher Education. In: PsyPAG Annual Conference, 24th - 27th July, University of Huddersfield.

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Student sleep is highly problematic, with over 60% of students being classified as ‘poor sleepers’ (Lund et al, 2010). This has negative implications for academic success within higher education (Taylor, Vatthauer, Bramoweth & Ruggero, 2013). However, existing research has been conducted only on US-based cohorts (Oswalt & Wyatt, 2015) where student behaviour is quite different. This study examined student sleep habits and the learning implications within a British cohort. Undergraduates aged 18-21 were recruited from a post-1992 university. Three studies were undertaken; the first involving four focus groups of six students to explore sleep habits and the impact on learning. A thematic analysis revealed themes specific to learning including concentration, motivation and attention. These were used as the basis of a cross-sectional survey and combined with four standardised questionnaires: the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) (Buysse et al, 1988), the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (Johns, 1991), the Horne-Östberg Morningness Scale (Horne and Östberg, 1976) and the Subjective Units of Distress Scale. This survey was disseminated university-wide and 211 responses were recorded. For a subset of 10 students the subjective PSQI results were compared with objective measures from actigraphy including efficiency, duration, onset latency, wake after sleep onset and fragmentation, to assess the validity of the survey as a new test instrument. The results of these mixed-methods studies confirm that students have poor sleep habits and suggest potential areas for policy development to aid student sleep (such as limiting 24-hour opening of facilities) and associated teaching/learning (including optimal times for lectures).

Keywords:Sleep, Higher Education, Academic Success, Student sleep habits
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C812 Educational Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C841 Health Psychology
X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:32821
Deposited On:07 Aug 2018 13:53

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