The prevalence of poor sleep quality in the general population in China: a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies


Background: The high prevalence of poor sleep quality (PSQ) in the general population leads to negative health outcomes. Since estimates of PSQ prevalence in the Chinese general population vary widely, this meta-analysis aimed to refine these estimates and to identify moderating factors.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search was undertaken in both international (PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and EMBASE) and Chinese (Wanfang, and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure databases) databases from inception to 23 November 2023. Studies were required to have used standard scales such as the Chinese version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). The pooled prevalence of PSQ and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a random-effects model. Subgroup and meta-regression analyses were performed to identify sources of heterogeneity.

Results: In 32 studies with a combined 376,824 participants, the pooled prevalence of PSQ was 19.0% (95% CI 15.8-22.8%; range 6.6-43.6%). Across 22 studies that reported PSQI data, the pooled mean score was 4.32 (95%CI 3.82-4.81; SD = 0.502). The pooled mean sleep duration across 8 studies was 7.62 (95% CI 7.23-8.00; SD = 0.194) hours. Subgroup analyses showed that lower education (Q = 4.12, P = 0.042), living in less developed regions (Q = 60.28, P < 0.001), and lower PSQI cutoff values (Q = 9.80, P = 0.007) were significantly associated with PSQ. Meta-regression analyses showed that study quality was inversely associated with estimated PSQ prevalence (β = - 0.442, P = 0.004).

Limitations: Although measures such as subgroup and meta-regression analyses were performed, substantial heterogeneity remained. Information related to sleep quality, such as comorbid physical diseases or psychiatric disorders, substance use, occupational types, and employment status, were not reported in most studies.

Conclusion: One in five people in the general population of China may have PSQ and people with lower education or living in western regions may be more susceptible.


China, General population, Meta-analysis, Poor sleep quality, Prevalence

Link to Publisher Version (URL)


This document is currently not available here.

Find in your library