Relationship between sleep and muscle strength among Chinese university students: a cross-sectional study

J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2017 Dec 1;17(4):327-333.


Objectives: Poor sleep quality and short sleep duration are associated with an increased risk for muscle mass reduction. Thus, they may also influence muscle strength. This study aimed to investigate the association between sleep quality and duration, and muscle strength in university students.

Methods: This cross-sectional study comprised 10,125 university students aged 16-30 years. Handgrip strength was measured using a handheld digital dynamometer. Sleep quality and duration were measured using a self-reported questionnaire.

Results: After adjusting for confounding factors, a positive association between sleep quality and muscle strength was observed in both male and female students. Moreover, men with shorter sleep duration (⟨6 hours) had poorer muscle strength than that of men who slept for 7-8 hours and over 8 hours in the final adjusted model. There was no significant difference in the association of sleep duration and muscle strength between men who slept 7-8 hours and those who slept for more than 8 hours. No significant association was observed between sleep duration and muscle strength in female students.

Conclusions: Good sleep quality is associated with greater muscle strength, while short sleep duration may be a risk factor for decreased muscle strength in university students.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asian People
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Students
  • Universities
  • Young Adult