Sleep duration and self-rated health in Chinese university students

Lu Li, Ka In Lok, Song Li Mei, Xi Ling Cui, Lin Li, Chee H. Ng, Gabor S. Ungvari, Yu Ping Ning, Feng Rong An, Yu Tao Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Little is known about the association between sleep duration and health status in Chinese university students. This study examined the association between sleep duration and self-rated health in university students in China. Methods: Altogether, 2312 subjects (928 in Macao, 446 in Hong Kong, and 938 in mainland China) were recruited. Standardized measures of sleep and self-reported health were administered. Sleep duration was categorized in the following way: < 6 h/day, 6 to < 7 h/day, 7–9 h/day, and > 9 h/day. Results: Overall, 71% of university students reported poor health, 53% slept 7–9 h/day, 14% slept less than 6 h/day, 32% slept 6 to < 7 h/day, and 1% slept > 9 h/day. Univariate analysis revealed that compared to students with medium sleep duration (7–9 h/day), those with short sleep duration (< 6 h/day and 6 to < 7 h/day) were more likely to report poor health. Multivariate logistic regression analysis found that after controlling for age, gender, body mass index, university location, being a single child, religious beliefs, interest in academic major, academic pressure, nursing major, pessimism about the future, and depression, sleep duration of less than 6 h/day (odds ratio (OR) 1.98, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.34–2.92, p < 0.01) was independently and significantly associated with poor self-reported health. Conclusions: Poor health status is common in Chinese university students, which appears to be closely associated with short sleep duration. Further longitudinal studies are warranted to gain a better understanding of the interaction between sleep patterns and health status in university students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1351-1356
Number of pages6
JournalSleep and Breathing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Self-rated health
  • Sleep duration
  • University students


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