Impact of a sleep course on sleep, mood and anxiety symptoms in college students: A pilot study

J Am Coll Health. 2018 Jan;66(1):41-50. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2017.1369091. Epub 2017 Sep 15.


Objective: To examine the impact of a sleep course on sleep-related behaviors, mood, and anxiety in college students.

Participants: Participants were 145 students enrolled in either the sleep course (n = 70) or a psychology course (n = 75); data were collected in September 2014, November 2014, and February 2015.

Methods: Sleep characteristics and symptoms of depression and anxiety were assessed using validated questionnaires and sleep logs. Linear, logistic and proportional odds regression models were used to test course effects.

Results: In November, sleep course students reported significant differences in sleep hygiene (SHI; p < .001), perceived sleep latency (PSQI; p < .05), and circadian sleep phase (MEQ; p < .05), compared to controls. In February, the sleep course students maintained most of the aforementioned gains and reported fewer symptoms of depression (CES-D; p = .05) and anxiety (BAI; p < .05).

Conclusions: These positive preliminary results indicate that focused education has the potential to improve sleep among college students.

Keywords: Anxiety; college students; depression; mental health; sleep behaviors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect / physiology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New England
  • Pilot Projects
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult