Sleep in College Students: How is Sleep Related to Daily Health and Spiritual Behaviors, and How Does Sleep Education Affect Sleep Quality and Quantity?

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Andrew Gall, Psychology; Dr. Alyssa Cheadle, Psychology

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College students are particularly susceptible to sleep issues because college creates an environment where the vulnerabilities to poor sleep are high, which can interfere with everyday functioning. Along with sleep, religiousness and spirituality also have been shown to have a positive impact on health. Few studies have examined the effect of educational interventions on sleep patterns in college students. The present study aims to explore the relationships between sleep, health, light, and spirituality/religiousness in college students. Additionally, we will implement an educational intervention to determine its effect on sleep quality and quantity. Participants will complete a pre-survey that collects information about demographics, sleep quality and quantity, religious behaviors, certain dimensions of physical health such as diet and exercise, and their state of well-being and mood. Some participants will then be asked to watch a short sleep education video, while others will watch an unrelated educational video. Following the pre-survey, a subset of participants will be given a FitBit to collect data on daily sleep and wake cycles. In addition, all participants will be asked to complete a daily survey each morning for a week. At the end of the week, an exit survey will be completed along with the final daily diary. Data collection will be completed by April. We expect to find that daily religious and spiritual behaviors are associated with healthy behaviors, including sleep, in college students. In addition, we expect that an educational intervention will influence sleep quality and quantity. Finally, we predict a negative relationship between light and sleep. This project seeks to increase awareness of the importance of sleep, especially as it pertains to health in college students and how religiosity and spirituality might play a role in that relationship.

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