Background: During Ramadan, due to fasting, there is more hunger, less energy levels, and more subjective depletion compared to normal days. Thereby, this study aimed to assess how Ramadan fasting could affect students’ sleep and academic performance as well as tiredness during fasting hours.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted comprising 386 Muslim medical students who were studying in Riyadh medical colleges (King Saud University, Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University, Al-Faisal University, Dar Al Uloom University, and Vision Colleges) during the fasting hours in the following faculties (Medical College, Pharmacy College, Nursing College, Applied Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry). Students who were studying at non-fasting hours were excluded. This study was conducted between the 10th and 24th of Ramadan, 2022 using a self-administered questionnaire and Epworth Sleepiness Scale.
Results: The majority of the participants were females (70.2%) while male participants were 29.8%, and most of the students had a decreased desire to study (82.1%). The majority of the participants reported reduced concentration during Ramadan classes (73.1%), also most of the participants had a reduction in their sleeping hours (75.1%).
Conclusion: Studying during Ramadan fasting hours was significantly correlated with poor academic performance as well as sleep quality.
Key words: Fasting, Ramadan, sleep, tiredness, academic performance.