Sleep Quality among University Students: Associations between Demographic Factors and Physical Activity Level

Saat N. Z. M. , Hanawi S. A. , Chan K. S. , Hanafiah H. , Teh S. C. , Aznan S. R. , Joan C Ahmad S. , Zulkefli Z. H.


Poor sleep quality among university students is a rising concern as it affects their well-being. Studies have shown an association between physical activity and sleep quality; however, studies in a local context focussing on health sciences undergraduate students are scarce. Thus, a cross-sectional study aiming to assess the prevalence of poor-quality sleep and its association with physical activity was conducted among health sciences students in Kuala Lumpur. A total of 90 undergraduate students aged 19 and above (M=21.9±1.4 years) were recruited from three learning centers by using purposive sampling. A self-administered questionnaire was used to acquire the respondents’ socio-demographic information as well as physical activity and sleep assessments. Results showed that 54% of respondents were poor sleepers and nearly half of them were minimally active (43.3%) while only 30% of the respondents were involved in health-enhancing physical activity. Nonetheless, there was no significant association between physical activity level and sleep quality (χ2=1.54, p>0.05). The residences of the respondents significantly contributed to poor sleep quality with those who stayed off-campus having five times the risk of poor sleep quality (OR= 5.084, CI= 1.02-25.42). In conclusion, the high prevalence of poor sleep quality among university students may not be affected by their physical activity; however, their place of residence plays an important role in determining their sleep quality.

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