Background: Rising levels of air pollution in Beijing, China have become a serious environmental issue affecting human health, and young adults are experiencing high rates of insufficient sleep duration or a lack of sleep. Gaps in previous research remain regarding the relationship between air pollution and sleep duration among young adults. The purpose of this study is to assess the associations between air pollution and sleep duration among college students living in Beijing, China. Methods: We conducted follow-up health surveys on 16,889 freshman students enrolled at Tsinghua University over a five-year study period (2013–2018). Sleep duration was measured using the Chinese version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (CPSQI), which has been validated in China to measure sleep duration. Corresponding levels of the average hourly air quality index (AQI), PM2.5 (µg/m3), PM10 (µg/m3), and NO2 (µg/m3) were gathered from data provided by the Beijing Municipal Ecological Environment Bureau in a closed site at Tsinghua University. Multilevel mixed-effects linear regression models were used to analyze the data. Results: One standard deviation increase in air pollution concentration in AQI, PM2.5, PM10, and NO2 was associated with a reduction in daily hours of sleep by 0.68 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.63, 0.73), 0.55 (95% CI = 0.51, 0.59), 0.70 (95% CI = 0.64, 0.76), and 0.51 (95% CI = 0.47, 0.54), respectively. Conclusions: Air pollution was associated with a reduction in sleep duration among freshman students living in Beijing, China. Replication of this study is warranted among various populations within China.
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