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Prevalence and differences in habitual sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, and using sleep medication: a national study of university students in Jordan



Sleep quality has a significant impact on the physical and mental health of the young population.

Study aim

To evaluate sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, and use of sleep medication among university students in Jordan and to examine differences in these problems in relation to selected demographic and health-risk behaviors.


The study used a cross-sectional design and a multi-stage sampling technique. Three public universities were randomly selected from three major governorates in Jordan. The Arabic version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index was used to measure sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, and the use of sleep medication. Descriptive statistics and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to analyze the data.


Of 1308 students who participated in the study, 27% reported sleep efficiency less than 85%, 45% of the students reported nocturnal awakening, 30% reported getting up to use the bathroom, and 9% reported using medication to help sleep. Differences in sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, and use of sleep medication were found in relation to students’ gender, income, marital status, smoking status, and academic achievement.


Poor sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, and the use of sleep medications are significant problems affecting sleep quality among university students. Students’ gender, marital status, income, smoking status, and academic achievement are important factors associated with sleep quality.


Sleep screening among university students is required to identify and provide treatment for sleep problems. Furthermore, educating university students about the effects of smoking on health in general and on sleep in particular should be mandated.

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This study was funded by Deanship for Scientific Research—The University of Jordan.

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Correspondence to Abeer M. Shaheen.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval

Ethical approval, including Institutional Review Board (IRB), was obtained from the University of Jordan Ethical Committee. Students who agreed to participate in the study signed an informed consent form that illustrated the study purpose, that participation in the study was voluntary, and students’ right to withdraw from the study any time.

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Albqoor, M.A., Shaheen, A.M. Prevalence and differences in habitual sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, and using sleep medication: a national study of university students in Jordan. Sleep Breath 25, 1127–1134 (2021).

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  • Jordan
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sleep efficiency
  • Sleep medications
  • University students