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Sleep habits and sleep problems among Palestinian students

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      Abstract

      Aim

      The aim of this study was to describe sleep habits and sleep problems in a population of undergraduates in Palestine. Association between self-reported sleep quality and self-reported academic achievement was also investigated.

      Methods

      Sleep habits and problems were investigated using a convenience sample of students from An-Najah National University, Palestine. The study was carried out during spring semester, 2009. A self-administered questionnaire developed based on The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV criteria and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index was used.

      Results

      400 students with a mean age of 20.2 ± 1.3 were studied. Reported mean duration of night sleep in the study sample was 6.4 ± 1.1 hours. The majority (58.3%) of students went to bed before midnight and 18% of the total sample woke up before 6 am. Sleep latency of more than one hour was present in 19.3% of the students. Two thirds (64.8%) of the students reported having at least one nocturnal awakening per night. Nightmares were the most common parasomnia reported by students. Daytime naps were common and reported in 74.5% of the study sample. Sleep quality was reported as "poor" in only 9.8% and was significantly associated with sleep latency, frequency of nocturnal awakenings, time of going to bed, nightmares but not with academic achievement.

      Conclusion

      Sleep habits among Palestinian undergraduates were comparable to those reported in European studies. Sleep problems were common and there was no significant association between sleep quality and academic achievement.

      Related collections

      Most cited references 43

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      Sleep loss, learning capacity and academic performance.

      At a time when several studies have highlighted the relationship between sleep, learning and memory processes, an in-depth analysis of the effects of sleep deprivation on student learning ability and academic performance would appear to be essential. Most studies have been naturalistic correlative investigations, where sleep schedules were correlated with school and academic achievement. Nonetheless, some authors were able to actively manipulate sleep in order to observe neurocognitive and behavioral consequences, such as learning, memory capacity and school performance. The findings strongly suggest that: (a) students of different education levels (from school to university) are chronically sleep deprived or suffer from poor sleep quality and consequent daytime sleepiness; (b) sleep quality and quantity are closely related to student learning capacity and academic performance; (c) sleep loss is frequently associated with poor declarative and procedural learning in students; (d) studies in which sleep was actively restricted or optimized showed, respectively, a worsening and an improvement in neurocognitive and academic performance. These results may been related to the specific involvement of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in vulnerability to sleep loss. Most methodological limitations are discussed and some future research goals are suggested.
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        Sleep quality versus sleep quantity: relationships between sleep and measures of health, well-being and sleepiness in college students.

        Two studies assessed whether measures of health, well-being, and sleepiness are better related to sleep quality or sleep quantity. In both studies, subjects completed a 7-day sleep log followed by a battery of surveys pertaining to health, well-being, and sleepiness. In subjects sleeping an average of 7 hours a night, average sleep quality was better related to health, affect balance, satisfaction with life, and feelings of tension, depression, anger, fatigue, and confusion than average sleep quantity. In addition, average sleep quality was better related to sleepiness than sleep quantity. These results indicate that health care professionals should focus on sleep quality in addition to sleep quantity in their efforts to understand the role of sleep in daily life.
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          Prevalence of sleep disorders in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

          The authors determined the prevalence of sleep disorders in a general population through a survey of 1,006 representative households in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. They found an overall prevalence of current or previous sleep disorders in adults of 52.1%. Specifically, they found a 42.5% prevalence of insomnia, 11.2% of nightmares, 7.1% of excessive sleep, 5.3% of sleeptalking, and 2.5% of sleepwalking. These conditions were often chronic and usually started early in life. Insomnia was more frequent in older people, particularly older women, and in people of lower educational socioeconomic status. Insomnia, nightmares, and hypersomnia were correlated with more frequent general physical and mental health problems.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, An-Najah National University, Nablus, P.O.Box 7, Palestine
            [2 ]Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, An-Najah National University, Nablus, P.O.Box 7, Palestine
            Contributors
            Journal
            Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health
            Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
            BioMed Central
            1753-2000
            2011
            15 July 2011
            : 5
            : 25
            3148974
            1753-2000-5-25
            21762479
            10.1186/1753-2000-5-25
            Copyright ©2011 Sweileh et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Categories
            Research

            Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry

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