This study aims to examine the relationship between stress and sleep of undergraduate students during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The possibly correlational relationship between these two parameters was determined with respect to how this population was faring during recent times, two years into the pandemic. The study also served to examine how this relationship changed over time based on three time frames: before the pandemic, during the advent of the lockdown (March 2020-May 2020), and during recent times. A survey was developed to collect data from the undergraduate participants for correlation and regression analysis to determine the relationship between stress and sleep quality as well as how the relationship has changed over time. In addition to questions pertaining to the subjective stress levels and subjective sleep quality of the respondents, questions adapted from the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) were used to serve as an objective measure of sleep quality. The survey was created through the Qualtrics online survey software and distributed through social media such as Reddit and Discord. The participant inclusion criteria included: 1) be a current undergraduate student at a university or community college, and 2) be at least the age of 18. One-hundred-four full responses were collected out of a total of 138 that began the survey. The results indicated a high prevalence of sleep problems among the participants, with the majority of them (58.65%) having poor sleep quality within the last month. A moderate negative correlation between stress levels and sleep quality was found as well. This was based upon a moderate positive correlation between subjective stress level, and PSQI score the month prior to participants taking the survey. However, stress was not a good predictor in determining sleep quality alone. Further, the results were inconclusive on how the relationship between stress and sleep quality changed from before to during the duration of the lockdown. Overall, this study indicated the need to further research into how stress and other factors affect the sleep quality of not just undergraduate students but other populations susceptible to poor sleep.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Medicine
Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences
Nguyen, Jordan, "The Intertwined Relationship of Stress and Sleep Quality of Undergraduate Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic" (2022). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1179.