Sleep quality and body mass index in college students: The role of sleep disturbances

Perla Vargas, Melissa Flores, Elias Robles-Sotelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Objective: Obesity and its comorbidities have emerged as a leading public health concern. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and sleep patterns, including duration and disturbances. Methods: A convenience sample of 515 college students completed an online survey consisting of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and self-reported height and weight to calculate BMI. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed using components of the PSQI as predictors of overweight (BMI ≥ 25). Results: One-third of the participants had BMI ≥ 25, and 51% were poor-quality sleepers (PSQI > 5). Controlling for age and sex, only sleep disturbances were associated with overweight (odds ratio = 1.66, 95% confidence interval [1.08, 2.57]). Conclusions: Sleep disturbances, rather than sleep duration, predicted overweight among young adults; this is consistent with the most recent evidence in the literature. These findings support expanding the scope of wellness programs to promote healthy sleep among students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)534-541
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 15 2014


  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • College students
  • Habits
  • Overweight
  • Prevalence
  • Sleep
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Sleep duration
  • Sleep quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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