Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Health Sciences


Rehabilitation Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Stuart Best


According to the National Sleep Foundation, individuals should sleep 7-9 hours every night. Recently, insufficient or poor sleep has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular illness, stroke, obesity, and Alzheimer's disease. Insufficient sleep for college students can negatively impact academic performance and mental health. In addition, especially for collegiate athletes, there is evidence that insufficient sleep is associated with an increased risk of musculoskeletal injury. However, it is uncertain if the link between sleep and injury varies between populations, types of individuals (athletes vs non-athletes), sports or types of exercise, or training volume. Despite the health risks of inadequate sleep, up to 35% of Americans, and 77% of adults in Saudi Arabia, fail to meet the recommended 7 hours every night. Different living and working environments, cultural norms, and sleep-specific education can contribute to this. Comparing populations from various nations may also affect the link between sleep and injury. Nevertheless, college students in Saudi Arabia and the United States have never been compared for sleep and exercise habits, or their link to injury. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the link between sleep and injury among college students. Furthermore, we would investigate the differences in sleep and exercise habits between college students in Saudi Arabia and the United States, and their relationship with physical activity-related injury. Three studies were conducted with the following aims:

Study 1: Sleep and Physical Activity-Related Injuries in Collegiate Athletes: A Systematic Review

Study 2: Sleep and Physical Activity Habits: A Comparative Study Between Saudi and American College Students

Study 3: Sleep, Physical Activity and Injury Among College Students: A Comparative Study Between Saudi and American Students

The results of the first study demonstrate strong evidence of an association between sleep quantity, quality and injury in collegiate athletes. Of the 11 studies reviewed as part of a systematic review, 9 studies supported a link between insufficient sleep and increased risk of injury. In the second study, Saudi students reported sleeping less than US students (US = 7.35 ±0.86 hrs. vs SA = 7.08 ±1.51 hrs.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Available for download on Friday, February 28, 2025