Background: Daytime sleepiness may affect student learning achievement. Research studies have found that daytime sleepiness is common in university students; however, information regarding the determinants of daytime sleepiness in this population is still lacking. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the determinants of daytime sleepiness in first-year nursing students. In particular, we looked for the relationship between perceived symptoms, nocturnal sleep quality, and daytime sleepiness. Design: A cross-sectional and correlational design was employed. Participants and Method: Participants were recruited from two nursing programs at an institute of technology located in southern Taiwan. Ninety-three nursing students completed the questionnaires one month after enrollment into their program. Results: Approximately 35% of the participants experienced excessive daytime sleepiness at the beginning of the semester. Six variables (joining a student club, perceived symptoms, daytime dysfunction, sleep disturbances, sleep latency, and subjective sleep quality) were significantly correlated with daytime sleepiness. Among them, daytime dysfunction and perceived symptoms were two major determinants of daytime sleepiness, both accounting for 37.2% of the variance. Conclusions: Daytime sleepiness in students should not be ignored. It is necessary to help first-year students identify and mitigate physical and psychological symptoms early on, as well as improve daytime functioning, to maintain their daytime performance and promote learning achievement.
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