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.
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.
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.
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.