Background: Sleep has many important effects on the human body. One of its most important effects is on one’s memory, where it plays a role in stabilizing perceived information and facilitating generalized knowledge.
Objective: We attempted to correlate the quality of sleep and its effects on general mental health and academic performance of health sciences students.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in a Saudi University in Riyadh, for 12 months starting September 2014. Validated self-reports: Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), demographic, and academic information were collected from 378 students of both genders through convenience sampling technique. PSQI measures quality and disturbance while GHQ assesses psychological and occupational wellbeing. English version was used of both questionnaires and was validated in previous studies. We used frequency (%) for categorical variables and mean (standard deviation) for continuous variables. Total score for GHQ and PSQI scales were calculated and divided into categories based on quartiles. Pearson coefficient was used to examine correlation. Multiple linear regression model was applied to predict student grade-point average (GPA) from sleep quality score and health quality and to predict sleep quality from health quality score and students’ GPA. We defined results to be statistically significant if P < 0.05.
Results: PSQI and GHQ scores did not appear to predict academic performance; there was no significant correlation between student sleep quality and general health scores and GPA (r2 = 0.091, P = 0.477). On reversing model, GHQ scores were found to significantly affect quality of sleep (odds ratio = 0.301, P < 0.001) while academic performance (GPA) was not found to significantly affect sleep quality (P = 0.734).
Conclusion: We concluded that the effect of sleep quality and general mental well-being on academic achievement is inconclusive.
Sleep Quality; Academic Performance; General Health