• Patrick Lindegaard Larsen
4. term, Sociology, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis investigates whether correlation can be found between the level of sleep quality and mechanisms of late modernity among students in secondary educations in Aalborg. The topic is considered relevant, since the literature about sleep quality among young people is scarce in a Danish context. Furthermore, the literature that actually do exist, seems to indicate that the level of sleep quality in this group is lower than the ideal and that this is a relatively new problem, since the amount of sleep has been reduced by an hour a day during the last three decades.
According to critical theory, some of the incentives of the current time can be seen as pathologies in the sense that they force us to speed up our lives to a degree to which we can’t keep up. This is manifested in an increasing number of people dealing with mental issues such as stress and depression. Since reduced sleep quality has been shown to be predicted by the same factors as stress and depression, it seems plausible that some of the factors of the current time can work as predictors of reduced sleep quality as well. To examine this, the theory of social acceleration of Hartmut Rosa is used as an illustration of some of the aspects of late modernity that presumably can be linked to adverse consequences regarding sleep quality. The primary hypothesis is that the engines of social acceleration, operationalized into 1) the level of perceived expectations from peers and parents, 2) the level of time constraints and 3) frequency of late night use of modern technology with access to internet, can result in reduced sleep quality. To measure this, a survey was sent out to a number of secondary educational institutions, resulting in a sample of 408 respondents. To measure the predicting factors, the survey included questions about the mentioned operationalized engines of social acceleration. To measure sleep quality, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory (PSQI), a self-rated scale of different parameters that combined provides an insight to a respondent’s total level of sleep quality, was used.
The responses of the survey were analyzed using linear regression analysis, showing that there, according to hypothesis, is significant negative correlation between some of the factors of social acceleration and sleep quality. The significant correlating factors is level of time constraints and frequency of late night use of modern technology with access to internet. The level of perceived expectations from peers and parents isn’t, however, significant related to sleep quality, which indicates that the overall theory of social acceleration can’t be seen as correlated to sleep quality. However, it can be disputed that it is the operationalizing of social acceleration that is wrong and not the theory’s ability to predict sleep quality.
Put together, the findings suggest that some of the elements that, according to critical theory, is characterizing for late modernity, is related to, if not predictors of, sleep quality among students of secondary educations. It is also worth to note that reduced sleep quality is widespread in the sample, since 57,8% of the respondents’ scores on the PSQI exceeds the threshold indicating reduced sleep quality. Thus, it is suggested to provide further insight to the sleep habits as well as sleep-influencing factors in this population.
Publication date29 May 2018
Number of pages83
ID: 280062567