Napping in college students and its relationship with nighttime sleep

J Am Coll Health. 2015;63(2):88-97. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2014.983926. Epub 2015 Jan 14.



Objective: To examine the habit of napping and its relationship with nighttime sleep in college students.

Participants: Four hundred and forty undergraduate students who responded to an anonymous online survey in April 2010.

Methods: Three questions were asked to determine the frequency, length, and timing of napping during the past month. Sleep quality was measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).

Results: The PSQI score significantly differed among self-reported nap-frequency (p=.047) and nap-length (p=.017) groups, with those who napped more than 3 times per week and those who napped more than 2 hours having the poorest sleep quality. Students who napped between 6 and 9 pm had shorter sleep on school nights compared with students in other nap-timing groups (p=.002).

Conclusions: College students who are self-reported frequent, long, and late nappers may have a higher risk of poor nighttime sleep quality and more severe sleep deprivation.

Keywords: academic performance; college students; napping; sleep deprivation; sleep habits; sleep quality.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rest / physiology*
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / etiology*
  • Students*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities*