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Original Article

IJMDC. 2021; 5(5): 1225-1231

The sleep pattern of medical students: examining the impact of excessive Internet use

Abdullah Omar Alghannami, Abdullah Turki Alrashed, Rakan Ali Alshehri, Sattam Obaid Alotaibi, Mogbel Khalaf Alharbi, Afaf Mukaddem, Sajida Agha.


Background: The Internet is recognized as a necessary technological component of the academic journey, and its use among medical students is increasing at an alarming rate. Excessive use of the Internet is considered as a harmful lifestyle; there is a significant positive correlation between unhealthy Internet habits and poor academic achievement. This study aimed to understand the effects of inappropriate Internet usage on medical students' sleeping habits.
Methods: A cross-sectional study using two validated self-administered questionnaires was conducted to collect data from 269 pre-clinical and clinical year students in the College of Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The "Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index" was used to assess students' sleep quality, and the "Internet Addiction Scale" was used to evaluate Internet addiction. A nonprobability convenience sampling technique was used. A t-test was administered to measure the association between the two group outcomes. A p-value < 0.05 declared as statistically significant.
Results: There was no significant association between excessive use of the Internet with sleep quality and students' demographics, but results indicated a significant association among sleep quality (p = 0.04), sleep disturbance (p = 0.02), and Internet addiction. The analysis also revealed a significant relationship between sleep duration and daytime functioning (p = 0.05).
Conclusion: The study found that heavy use of technology has a substantial impact on medical students' sleeping habits. It is important to educate medical students on how to manage their use of technology to enhance their sleep cycle.

Key words: Internet use, sleep pattern, sleep quality, medical student.

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