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RMJ. 2004; 29(1): 3-7

Sleep habits and their consequences: a survey

Umar A. Khan, Sara N. Pasha, Sarah K. Khokhar, Asim A. Rizvi.


Objective: To study the sleep habits and their consequences among the students of Shifa College of Medicine.
Subjects and Methods: A survey questionnaire consisting of a total of 50 questions was designed to analyze the sleep habits of the students of Shifa College of Medicine, Islamabad. Data were collected during March and April 2002. The answers were restricted to either YES or NO. A total of 120 questionnaires were then distributed to the students of the first four years in their respective classrooms, with an explanation of the aims and objectives of the study.
Results: Responses were received from 112 students. The age range was between 18 and 23 years. Analysis revealed that on average the amount of sleep required per 24 hours of the respondents was 8 hours, however, the average amount of sleep that they actually got every day was on average 6 hours. There was an association between the quantity of caffeine ingested and its subsequent effects on the regularity of sleeping hours. Most of the students of Shifa College of Medicine are suffering from high levels of daytime sleepiness. Nearly half the class of second year admitted to being depressed and irritable (47% and 50% respectively). A 37% said that their lifestyle and interpersonal relationships were affected.
Conclusion: Our preliminary results show that disorders related to sleep are a significant problem. Caffiene ingestion affected sleep and there was high level of daytime sleepiness. Sleep difficulties resulted in irritability and affected lifestyle and interpersonal relationships.

Key words: Sleep, Habits, Disorders, Medical Students.

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