Differences between male and female university students in sleepiness, weekday sleep loss, and weekend sleep duration

Introduction: Women and men experience sleep differently and the difference in intrinsic desire for sleep might underlie some of the observed male-female differences. The objective of this cross-sectional questionnaire study of university students was to determine male-female differences in self-reported sleepiness and sleep-wake patterns. Methods: Five questionnaires were completed by 1650 students at four Russian universities. Results: Compared to male students, female students reported a lower subjective sleep quality score, had a higher morning sleepability score and lower nighttime and daytime wakeability scores. They more often reported excessive daytime sleepiness and expected to be sleepier at any time of the day with the largest male-female difference around the times of sleep onset and offset. On free days, they reported a longer sleep duration and an earlier sleep onset. Free-weekday difference was larger for sleep duration and smaller for sleep onset. Such male-female differences showed similarity to the differences observed in university and high school students from different countries around the globe. There was no significant male-female difference in weekly averaged sleep duration, weekday sleep duration, hours slept, midpoint of sleep on free days, free-weekday difference in sleep offset, social jetlag, and morningness-eveningness score. Therefore, when studies rely on these self-reports, the most salient male-female differences might not be immediately evident. Conclusions: It seems that the intrinsic desire for longer sleep duration might contribute to a higher susceptibility of female students to weekday sleep loss. Among these students, negative effects of reduced sleep duration might be more common and more detrimental. © 2021 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents

Putilov A.A. 1 , Sveshnikov D.S. 2 , Bakaeva Z.B. 2 , Yakunina E.B. 2 , Starshinov Y.P. 2 , Torshin V.I. 2 , Alipov N.N.3 , Sergeeva O.V.3 , Trutneva E.A.4 , Lapkin M.M.4 , Lopatskaya Z.N.5 , Budkevich R.O. 6 , Budkevich E.V. 6 , Puchkova A.N. 1 , Dorokhov V.B. 1
Academic Press
  • 1 Laboratory of Sleep/Wake Neurobiology, Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 2 Department of Normal Physiology, Medical Institute of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 3 Department of Physiology, Pirogov's Russian National Research Medical University, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 4 Department of Physiology, Ryazan State Medical University, Ryazan, Russian Federation
  • 5 Department of Physiology, Department of Physiology, Medical Institute of the of Surgut State University, Surgut, Russian Federation
  • 6 Laboratory of Nanobiotechnology and Biophysics, the North-Caucasus Federal University, Stavropol, Russian Federation
Alertness-sleepiness rhythm; chronotype; Morningness-eveningness; Sex difference; Sleep times; Sleep-wake pattern
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