Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Thrasher, Christine


nursing, PSQI, sleep quality, students




Sleep health is an underrepresented topic in the literature. Poor quality of sleep can lead to sleep deprivation, which has serious health and social consequences. The first year of university encompasses new demands and challenges to learning. Nursing students and nurses who suffer from poor sleep quality are at risk of providing unsafe patient care. The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the perceived level of sleep quality of first year nursing students. This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study that was guided by Rosenstock’s Health Belief Model. The participants completed an online survey that included the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and demographic questions. A sample of 32 first year nursing students enrolled at a university in Southwestern Ontario participated in this study between weeks 12 and 14 of their second semester. Approximately 84% of participants had total PSQI scores of greater than 5, which is associated with poor sleep quality. The most common sleep disturbances reported by the participants were being unable to fall asleep within 30 minutes, waking up in the middle of the night or early morning, feeling too hot, stress or anxiety, and having a loud roommate. Significant correlations were found between sleep disturbance and needs medication to sleep, sleep latency and overall sleep quality, and age and sleep efficiency. More research on sleep quality in nursing students is required to gain a greater understanding of the predictors and consequences associated with poor sleep quality. Evaluation of targeted interventions is needed to prevent poor quality of sleep in nursing students and nurses in clinical practice.