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Cross-Sectional Survey of Sleep Practices of Australian University Students

Authors Batten R, Liddiard K, Raynor AJ, Brown CA, Stanley M

Received 1 July 2019

Accepted for publication 25 December 2019

Published 22 January 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 39—48

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S221472

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Steven A Shea


Rachel Batten,1,* Katrina Liddiard,1,* Annette J Raynor, 1,* Cary A Brown, 2,* Mandy Stanley 1,*

1School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA, Australia; 2Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G2G4, Canada

*All authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Rachel Batten
School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia
Tel +61 8 6304 3657
Email r.batten@ecu.edu.au

Background and Aim: Sleep insufficiency is often associated with the life of a university student, yet it is well known that inadequate sleep can have a negative impact on physical and mental health and be detrimental to cognitive skills for learning. The aim of this study was to replicate a Canadian study to survey university student sleep practices, the way in which students address any sleep issues, and the students’ preferred method to receive targeted sleep information.
Methods: An anonymous on-line survey was promoted to all enrolled students at one Australian University in August 2017.
Results: In total, 601 students responded to the survey. One third indicated that they had insufficient sleep (less than 6.5 hrs). Almost two thirds reported a perception of not getting sufficient sleep. There was a significant association between the reported number of sleep hours, and the perception of high-quality sleep. Strategies to get to sleep included the use of social media which is counter to best practice in sleep hygiene.
Conclusion: The study supports the need for education about sleep health coupled with stress management to better the demands of student life.

Keywords: higher education, college, tertiary education, sleep

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