The prevalence of sleep disorders in college students: impact on academic performance

J Am Coll Health. 2010;59(2):91-7. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2010.483708.


Objective: To examine the prevalence of risk for sleep disorders among college students by gender and age, and their associations with grade point average (GPA).

Participants: Participants were 1,845 college students at a large, southeastern public university.

Methods: A validated sleep disorder questionnaire surveyed sleep data during the 2007-2008 academic year. Students' GPAs were obtained from the office of the registrar.

Results: Twenty-seven percent of students were at risk for at least one sleep disorder. African American and Asian students reported less risk for insomnia and fewer poor sleep practices relative to white and Latino students. Students reported insufficient sleep and a discrepancy between weekday and weekend amount of sleep. Students at risk for sleep disorders were overrepresented among students in academic jeopardy (GPA < 2.0).

Conclusions: Many college students are at risk for sleep disorders, and those at risk may also be at risk for academic failure.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Southeastern United States / epidemiology
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Universities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult