Sleep Difficulties and Psychological Distress Among College Students During a COVID-19 Campus Red Alert

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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Objective: The current study examined the extent to which pandemic-specific psychological distress symptoms and perceived stress were associated with sleep difficulties among college students. Participants: Participants included 203 full-time undergraduates from a medium-sized university located in the U.S. Methods: A survey was administered online in December of 2020. Results: Regression analyses showed pandemic-specific psychological distress was associated with the three sleep difficulties. Perceived stress was also associated with these three sleep difficulties of falling asleep (B = 0.078, SE = 0.013, p = .000), difficulty staying asleep (B = 0.080, SE = 0.014, p = .000), and with waking too early (B = 0.043, SE = 0.014, p = .003), and mediated the relationship between psychological distress and each of the sleep difficulties. Conclusions: During public health emergencies health promotion strategies to promote sleep health should include psychoeducational strategies specifically addressing pandemic-specific psychological distress symptoms and perceived stress.


Online ahead of print, March 21, 2023



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