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Original Papers

The relationship between quality of sleep, stress, depressive and anxiety symptoms and coping strategies among first-year female students of the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

Authors:

S. Thakshila ,

University of Colombo, LK
About S.
Department of Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
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C. Suraweera

University of Colombo, LK
About C.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Background

Sufficient and restorative sleep is essential for mental and physical wellbeing. The challenges of university life may be associated with detrimental effects on students’ mental wellbeing, leading to stress and poor quality of sleep. Students may adopt varied strategies to cope with these difficulties.

 

Aims

The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between quality of sleep, stress, depressive and anxiety symptoms, and coping strategies, among first-year female students of the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

 

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted among 200 female undergraduates from five selected faculties of the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. A selfadministered questionnaire, the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Depression Stress Anxiety Scale- 21 (DASS-21) and the Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced Inventory (brief COPE inventory) were administered using simple random sampling.

 

Results

Among the participants, 82.5% (n=165) had poor objective and subjective quality of sleep as indicated by the global PSQI. There was a strong positive correlation between sleep quality and stress, and 57.6% (n=95) of the poor sleepers were found to be stressed. The occurrence of stress was positively correlated with the use of self-blame, planning, denial, and emotional support as coping strategies, as per the brief COPE inventory. There was also a statistically significant correlation between quality of sleep, as measured by the PSQI, and coping strategies, as measured by the brief COPE inventory. The highest mean global PSQI score was observed among students from the Faculty of Law, with 95% experiencing poor quality of sleep. The highest correlation between sleep quality and stress was seen among students from the Faculty of Medicine, where the highest percentage of students (61.9%), were stressed.

 

Conclusions

Most of the university undergraduates who participated in this study had poor quality of sleep and stress. There was a strong relationship between sleep quality, stress, and the type of coping strategy the undergraduates used.
How to Cite: Thakshila, S. and Suraweera, C., 2022. The relationship between quality of sleep, stress, depressive and anxiety symptoms and coping strategies among first-year female students of the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry, 13(1), pp.35–41. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v13i1.8318
Published on 13 Jun 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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