Sleep, Sleepiness and Medical College Students: A Comparative Study among Medical and Paramedical Students of a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital from a West Indian Metropolitan City
Background: Behavioural, physiological and neurocognitive processes occur during sleep which can be impaired by the absence of sleep. Accommodation and travelling stress can additionally compromise sleep duration along with the demanding curriculum. Aim: To compare sleep quality and quantity of medical versus paramedical and hostellers versus day scholar students of a Medical college in a metropolitan city. Subjects and Methods: Validated questionnaires (PSQI, ESS and Sleep 50) along with sleep diary and demographic sheet were used to study sleep duration, daytime sleepiness and sleep associated problems in 271 students of medical and paramedical course. Results: Study group included MBBS (76.4%, 207/271) and OT/ PT (23.6%, 64/271) students. Average (SD) sleep duration for MBBS students was 6:38 hrs (52 minutes) and of OT/PT students was 7 hrs (46 minutes). Short sleepers were 47.9% (130/271) students with 21% (57/271) sleeping <6 hours per day. Travel time of Hostellers was a maximum 40 minutes while day scholars was up to 4 hours/day. Poor sleep quality was reported by 20.7% students and Excessive Day time Sleepiness (ESS) by 24.4% students. More number of MBBS day scholars reported poor sleep quality and ESS than the hostellers. No student reported any sleep disturbance. Conclusion: The pressure of first year curriculum, transition to medical curriculum coupled with long and strenuous travel time take a toll on the sleep physiology of the medical students. College authorities have a limited role in this as a metropolitan city is saturated in terms of accommodation facilities. It is a social, academic and administrative problem.
Keywords: PSQI, ESS, Sleep-50, Sleep quality, Sleep duration