Background: Habit formation can be a challenge for first-year students. Research has suggested that regardless of sleep knowledge, favorable sleep attitudes predict better sleep.
Aim: Our aim was to investigate whether sleep attitudes directly or indirectly predicted risk for metabolic syndrome via sleep.
Method: Students completed self-report and physiological measures. Participants wore wristwatches to collect sleep data. Path analyses investigated the direct or indirect effect of sleep attitude on risk for metabolic syndrome via subjective sleep (sleep quality, duration, risk for apnea) and objective sleep (sleep efficiency, duration, subjective risk for apnea).
Results: In our subjective analysis that sleep attitudes predicted quality and duration (but not risk) for apnea, the overall model yielded significance. Only risk for apnea was a significant predictor of risk for metabolic syndrome in the objective sleep analysis, as well as the total indirect effect.
Limitations: Limitations include missing objective data, which lowered the sample size, and using Fitbit devices, which may not be as accurate as polysomnography.
Conclusion: Unfavorable sleep attitudes are related to risk for metabolic syndrome in college students via sleep.