Date of Award

6-2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Wayne Fuqua

Second Advisor

Dr. Galen Alessi

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Spates

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

There is consensus that a sizeable percentage of people in most developed countries do not obtain adequate amounts or quality of sleep. These disruptions in sleep, when chronic and severe, can lead to psychological, behavioral and health consequences. The focus on behavioral and contextual factors that impact sleep has been termed “sleep hygiene”. An on-line anonymous survey collected sociodemographic information, as well as self-reports on sleep, sleep hygiene practices and dreaming across two cultural groups (English & Spanish speaking responders). A total of 204 participants (majority of them college and graduate students) answered the survey. Both cultural groups, English and Spanish speaking, reported similar results in terms of sleep quantity and quality as well as sleep hygiene practices. In general, respondents do not actively and consistently practice any of the sleep hygiene recommendations. These results area similar to previous research on sleep quality and sleep hygiene practices (Liu et al., 2013; Gellis & Lichstein, 2009) but the results also revealed surprisingly high levels of night awakenings, use of medications and disruption of sleep by environmental factors. Results on the frequency of dreams were similar to previous research (Schredl et al, 2014) but nightmares were more frequent within this population. Percentage of people who reported that dreams or nightmares affected their behavior and/or emotional status the following day were also similar to previous findings (Selterman et al, 2013).

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