Insomnia, sleep duration and academic performance: A national survey of Norwegian college and university students
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the associations between insomnia, sleep duration and self-reported academic performance/failure in a large sample of Norwegian college and university students. Methods: This cross-sectional survey comprised 50,054 full-time students (69% women) aged 18–35 years (mean age 23.2, standard deviation (SD) = 3.3), with a response rate of 31%. Binary logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the associations between the independent variables, an approximation of the insomnia disorder and sleep duration, and the dependent variables, failed examinations and delayed study progress. Results: The results showed that insomnia was associated with a higher risk of failed examinations (adjusted for background variables, odds ratio (ORadjusted) = 1.31, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25–1.37, p < 0.001) and delayed study progress (ORadjusted = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.22–1.42, p < 0.001). A curvilinear relationship between sleep duration and risk of academic failure was demonstrated, where both sleeping less than 5 h, and 10 h or more, were associated with higher odds of failed study examinations, compared to with sleeping 7–9 h (ORadjusted = 1.46, 95% CI: 1.33–1.63, p < 0.001 and ORadjusted = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.33–1.75, p < 0.001, respectively). Insomnia and deviations from an optimal sleep duration may have notable consequences for academic success in higher education.