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The impact of bedtime procrastination on depression symptoms in Chinese medical students



Depression symptoms are closely related to inadequate sleep and are experienced by medical students at an increased rate. Bedtime procrastination is considered a new, important predictor of sleep deficiency. However, whether there is a correlation between bedtime procrastination and depression symptoms remains unclear. This study aimed to examine the impact of bedtime procrastination on depression symptoms among medical students.


A total of 419 Chinese medical students were invited to participate in this study, and 401 participants (mean age, 19.48 years; range, 17–23 years) were included in the final statistical analysis. Depression symptoms and bedtime procrastination were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) and the Bedtime Procrastination Scale (BPS), respectively.


The prevalence of depression symptoms in Chinese medical students was 26.9%. The mean BPS scores were significantly higher in the depressed group than in the non-depressed group. Binary logistic regression analysis identified that bedtime procrastination was an independent contributor to the prevalence of depression symptoms. Further correlation and multiple linear regression analyses demonstrated that the BDI scores were significantly and positively associated with the BPS scores in students without depression, while the BDI scores correlated with male students experiencing depression.


Depression symptoms, which become more prevalent among Chinese medical students, are found to independently associate with bedtime procrastination. In particular, the severity of depression symptoms shows a positive correlation with increased bedtime procrastination before developing into depression, and it shows correlation with sex only in a state of depression.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31800924) and the Scientific Study Project for Education Department of Liaoning Province (No. L201783641).

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Correspondence to Li Mu.

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All procedures were conducted under ethical standards and approved by the Ethics Committee of Jiamusi University and Liaoning Normal University.

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Guo, J., Meng, D., Ma, X. et al. The impact of bedtime procrastination on depression symptoms in Chinese medical students. Sleep Breath 24, 1247–1255 (2020).

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