Sleep practices among medical students in Pediatrics Department of University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku/Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria
Background: Medical students are a population who are at great risk of having bad sleep practice and hygiene due to demanding clinical and academic activities. Poor sleep practices are a disturbing and destabilizing phenomenon. It affects many people and can affect the quality of work, performance and education of medical students. Determining the sleep practices and behaviors could be useful to establish a systematic mental health curriculum in medical schools.
Objectives: The objectives of this study is to describe sleep practices among undergraduate medical students in a Nigerian University.
Materials and Methods: Sleep practices were investigated using a convenience sample of medical students from the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Ituku Ozalla, Enugu from October 2012 to February 2013.
Results: A total number of participants enrolled were 241 consisting of 150 male and 90 female medical students. However, 222 (response rate: 92.1%) completed and returned the questionnaire. The median number of hours of night sleep on a weekday and weekend were 6 and 7 h respectively. There was a significant correlation between the number of hours of sleep and use of caffeine (Spearman r = −0.148, P < 0.0321). Ninety two (45.3%) had a sleep latency of 10-30 min while 157 (70.7%) woke up 1-2 times/night. Twenty five (11.3%) experience unusual sleep practices such as sleep walking, talking or night terrors.
Conclusion: Medical students in our institution have varying degrees of sleeping practice and behavior and this may affect academic performance.
Key words: Medical students, pediatrics, sleep practice