Daytime sleepiness and sleep quality among Malaysian medical students

A H Zailinawati, C L Teng, Y C Chung, T L Teow, P N Lee, K S Jagmohni
Medical Journal of Malaysia 2009, 64 (2): 108-10
Poor sleep quality and daytime somnolence is reported to be associated with cardiovascular events, road traffic accident, poor academic performance and psychological distress. Some studies documented that it is prevalent in most populations but its frequency among medical students has not been documented in Malaysia. This is a self-administered questionnaire survey of medical students from International Medical University, Malaysia. Daytime sleepiness of medical students was assessed using Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). Student scoring ESS > 11 was regarded as having excessive daytime sleepiness. Psychological distress was measured using 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). A total of 799 medical students participated in this survey (response rate 69.5%). Daytime sleepiness occurred in 35.5%, psychological distress was present in 41.8% and 16.1% reported bad sleep quality. Daytime sleepiness was significantly more common among the clinical students, those with self-reported bad sleep quality and psychological distress; but unrelated to the number of hours sleep at night. We have documented high prevalence of daytime sleepiness, poor sleep quality and psychological distress. Higher frequency among clinical students and the significant relationship with psychological distress suggest possible link to the stressful clinical training.

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