The influence of study schedules and work on the sleep-wake cycle of college students
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College students usually exhibit an irregular sleep-wake cycle characterized by great phase delays on weekends and short sleep length on weekdays. As the temporal organization of social activities is an important synchronizer of human biological rhythms, we investigated the role played by study's schedules and work on the sleep-wake cycle. Three groups of female college students were investigated: (1) no-job morning group, (2) no-job evening group, (3) job evening group. The volunteers answered a sleep questionnaire in the classroom. The effects of day of the week and group on the sleep schedules and sleep length were analyzed by a two way ANOVA for repeated measures. The three groups showed delays in the wake up time on weekends. No-job evening and morning groups also delayed bedtime, but the job evening group slept at the same time on weekdays as on weekends. Sleep length increased on weekends for morning group and job evening group, whereas the no-job evening group maintained the amount of sleep from weekdays to weekends. This survey showed that the tendency of phase delay on weekends was differently expressed according to study's schedules and work.