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P009 The need to educate university students about sleep
  1. Connor Qiu1,
  2. Yizhou Yu2,
  3. Abdullah Cheema2,
  4. Christopher-James Harvey3 and
  5. Mary Morrell2
  1. 1St Mary’s Hospital, Isle of Wight NHS Trust, Newport
  2. 2Imperial College London, London
  3. 3University of Oxford, Oxford


Introduction Poor sleep hygiene negatively impacts cognitive and physical abilities in students and is common among students of higher education.¹ Moreover, a wide-range of literature explores the detrimental effect of poor sleep quality on learning.

Methods An anonymous, self-administered questionnaire was made available to a cohort of medical students at Imperial College London (n=113; 60 female). Demographic information was collected to determine existing sleep quality. Questions regarding understanding of, and desire for sleep hygiene interventions to improve their experience of medical education were created on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from 5 (strongly agree) to 1 (strongly disagree). Students were also asked to rank, the aspects in their lifestyle that warranted the most attention for improvement.

Results Students from across all years strongly agreed that their sleeping habits could be improved (4.13±0.86). Equipping students with the time and energy management tools needed to maintain consistent sleep of adequate duration would be well received (3.73±0.97). Students agree that a concerted intervention effort, such as having sleep promotion activities across campus would be beneficial for their education (3.65±0.90).

This study identified the main factors influencing sleep quality as the latency to fall asleep, sleep duration and frequency of dreams, together accounting for 29.0% (r²) of the variation in sleep. The presence of a bed partner, pain, temperature, breathing problems and waking up at night did not significantly influence sleep quality.

Discussion University students would benefit from a comprehensive sleep education drive. Efforts in improving sleep quality could be directed to decreasing the latency to sleep onset and to increasing sleep duration via naps.


  1. Mah C D, Kezirian E J, Marcello B M, Dement W C. Poor sleep quality and insufficient sleep of a collegiate student athlete population. Sleep Health 2018;4 (3):251–257.

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