The relationship between sleep habits and academic performance in dental students in Croatia

M Valic, R Pecotic, L Lusic, K Peros, Z Pribudic, Z Dogas
European Journal of Dental Education: Official Journal of the Association for Dental Education in Europe 2014, 18 (4): 187-94

INTRODUCTION: It is well accepted that sleep and lifestyle habits affect academic success in students. However, sleep patterns and sleep problems amongst dental students have been insufficiently addressed in the literature. The purpose of this study was to evaluate sleep habits of dental students and the relationship between sleep habits and academic performance.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A self-administered questionnaire on sleep habits, academic performance and lifestyle was administered. The participants were 447 dental students from Split University Dental Medicine School and Zagreb University Dental Medicine School from the six academic years. The subjects were classified into two groups based on academic success (high-performing vs. low-performing students) for comparison of sleep and lifestyle habits.

RESULTS: Amongst the whole group of students, average bedtime and wake time during weekday was significantly earlier compared with weekend. Main findings indicate that students with high academic performance had earlier bedtimes during weekdays and weekends, earlier wake times during weekends and shorter sleep latency compared with low academic performing students.

CONCLUSION: Self-reported academic performance of dental students in Croatia is associated with timing of sleep and wakefulness, rather than with total sleep time duration.

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