PloS one | 21 Nov 2014
N Lovato, L Lack and H Wright
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the self-reported sleep and napping behaviour of Australian university students and the relationship between napping and daytime functioning. A sample of 280 university first-year psychology students (median age = 19.00 years) completed a 6-item napping behaviour questionnaire, a 12-item Daytime Feelings and Functioning Scale, the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Results indicated that 53.6% of students reported napping with 34% napping at least 1-2 times per week, and 17% napping three or more occasions per week. Long naps, those over 30 minutes, were taken by 77% of the napping students. Sixty-one percent of students reported they took long naps during the post-lunch dip period, from 2-4pm. Students who nap at least once per week reported significantly more problems organizing their thoughts, gaining motivation, concentrating, and finishing tasks than students who did not nap. Students who napped also felt significantly more sleepy and depressed when compared to students who did not nap. The results also indicated that nap frequency increased with daytime sleepiness. The majority of students (51%) reported sleeping 6-7 hours per night or less. Overall, the results from this study suggest that among this population of Australian first-year university students habitual napping is common and may be used in an attempt to compensate for the detrimental effects of excessive sleepiness.
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