First Advisor

Gary Brodowicz

Date of Publication

Summer 9-23-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Health Studies


Community Health




Sleep, College athletes -- Time management



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 37 pages)


According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rulebook, student-athletes are limited to 20 hours/week of official athletic activity. While this in and of itself is not a huge time commitment, when it is combined with the academic expectations that come with being a college student and athletic activities that are not included in the 20 hours/week, there isn't much time left in the week for student-athletes to get everything done. In addition to imposing daily stress, such time demands may negatively affect sleep. This study examined the sleep quality and quantity of student-athletes, as well as how much time they spend on athletic and academic activities. It was predicted that the student-athletes overall would not have a "good" sleep rating, and that they would not be getting the recommended 10 hours of sleep per night. It was also predicted that in-season student-athletes would be spending more than the allotted 20 hours per week on their athletic activities.

All data for this study were collected through online surveys, which included several demographic and background questions, and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), an instrument that provides a measurement of an individual's sleep quality. A score < 5 is considered "good" sleep quality, while a score > 5 is considered "bad" sleep quality. The 42 participants in this study (29 female; 13 male) were student-athletes at Portland State University (PSU) and represented all but one of the sports offered at PSU. All student-athletes listed on the official team roster received two e-mails requesting their participation in the study. There was at least one respondent in each class level, with 13 reporting as in-season student-athletes and 29 reporting as out-of-season student-athletes.

Of the 42 respondents, only 3 received a "good" sleep quality rating. The median sleep quality rating for the entire sample was 9, and the median amount of sleep obtained was 7 hours/night, with a median bedtime of 2330. The median amount of self-reported time spent on athletics was 15.5 hours/week and the median time spent on academics was 15 hours/week.

It was concluded that PSU student-athletes do not get enough sleep, and their sleep quality is very low. In-season student-athletes also self-reported spending more time in their athletic activities than the maximum NCAA limit. Although the sample size was small, these data support the need for increased education about the benefits of sleep. Also, an examination of the policies regarding what qualifies as an athletic activity, and how much time athletes should spend on such activities is recommended.


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