Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 1351–1356 | Cite as

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 AnEmail author
  • Yu-Tao XiangEmail author
Epidemiology • Original Article



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.


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.


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.


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.


Sleep duration Self-rated health University students China 



The study was funded by the University of Macau (MYRG2015-00230-FHS; MYRG2016-00005-FHS), the National Key Research & Development Program of China (No. 2016YFC1307200), the Beijing Municipal Administration of Hospitals Incubating Program (No. PX2016028), and the Beijing Municipal Administration of Hospitals’ Ascent Plan (No. DFL20151801).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lu Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ka-In Lok
    • 2
    • 3
  • Song-Li Mei
    • 4
  • Xi-Ling Cui
    • 5
  • Lin Li
    • 6
  • Chee H. Ng
    • 7
  • Gabor S. Ungvari
    • 8
    • 9
  • Yu-Ping Ning
    • 1
  • Feng-Rong An
    • 10
    Email author
  • Yu-Tao Xiang
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.The Affiliated Brain Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University (Guangzhou Huiai Hospital)GuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Unit of Psychiatry, Institute of Translational Medicine, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of MacauMacauChina
  3. 3.Kiang Wu Nursing College of MacauMacaoChina
  4. 4.School of Public HealthJilin UniversityChangchunChina
  5. 5.Department of Business AdministrationHong Kong Shue Yan UniversityHong KongChina
  6. 6.Department of PharmacyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  7. 7.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  8. 8.University of Notre Dame AustraliaPerthAustralia
  9. 9.Division of PsychiatryUniversity of Western Australia School of MedicinePerthAustralia
  10. 10.The National Clinical Research Center for Mental Disorders & Beijing Key Laboratory of Mental Disorders, Beijing Anding Hospital & the Advanced Innovation Center for Human Brain ProtectionCapital Medical UniversityBeijingChina

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