Sleep patterns in college students: gender and grade differences.
OBJECTIVE: Since gender effect is inconsistent and grade effect has not been addressed in previous studies, we investigated both effects on the daily sleep patterns in a group of young college students. METHODS: The sample consisted of 237 students aged 18-24 years. Each subject completed a 7-day sleep log. RESULTS: Gender differences were found in several sleep variables and those were mostly not dependent on weekday/weekend difference. The female students went to bed and rose earlier and had longer sleep latency, more awakenings, and poorer sleep quality than the male. Gender differences were also shown in the relationship between sleep quality and other sleep variables. The correlation between sleep quality and rise time, time in bed, and sleep efficiency was stronger in men than in women. In contrast, grade differences were mostly dependent on weekday/weekend difference. The freshmen rose earlier and had shorter sleep time than did the other students on weekdays only. Sleep latency was the longest in seniors on weekdays only. CONCLUSION: This study showed that gender differences in sleep patterns and sleep difficulties were remarkable in the group of young college students. Alarmed by the high prevalence of sleep difficulties among general college students, it is recommended that the students should be informed of their sleep problems and the consequences.