The relationship between lifestyle and anthropometric factors with the sleep characteristics among university students in Iran: the MEPHASOUS study



Healthy sleep habits have an important role in normal cognitive function, emotional performance, and well-being. The aims of this study were to describe the characteristics of sleep among university students in Iran. In addition, we assessed the relationship between lifestyle and anthropometric factors with the sleep characteristics.


This population-based cross-sectional study was conducted using the data of “Mental and Physical Health Assessment of University Students in Iran” survey 2012–2013. This survey was conducted on newly admitted students in 74 public universities in 28 provinces. The participants were younger adults. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were utilized to recognize associated factors with sleep pattern and range.


Of total 78,848 students who completed the survey, 54.64% (n = 43,079) were females. The average age of the students was 21.53 ± 4.08 and 21.54 ± 3.99 among males and females, respectively. More than 90% (n = 70,923), were non-smokers. Out of the total respondents, 40.56% (n = 31,756) had irregular sleep pattern. Male students were less likely to have irregular sleep pattern than female students.


Our findings indicated that irregular sleep pattern is associated with overweight and obesity. So, these results underscore the need to educate students on importance of healthy sleep pattern and duration on health conditions.

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Acknowledgments and funding

We would like to thank Dr. Elham Heidari for proof reading the manuscript and providing suggestions for improvements and Mrs. Firouze Hajizadeh for final English language proofing. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Correspondence to Farshad Sharifi.

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Varmaghani, M., Mansouri, M., Shams-Beyranvand, M. et al. The relationship between lifestyle and anthropometric factors with the sleep characteristics among university students in Iran: the MEPHASOUS study. J Diabetes Metab Disord (2020).

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  • Sleep
  • Young adult
  • Students
  • Universities