Daytime sleepiness and academic performance among Arab medical students

Jamaan M. Al-Zahrani, Khaled K. Aldossari, Imad Abdulmajeed, Sameer H. Al-Ghamdi, Abdullah M. Al-Shamrani, Nawaf S. Al-Qahtani


Background: The study aimed to examine the prevalence of daytime sleepiness among medical students and to explore its relationship with academic performance.
Methods: A total of 161 consenting Saudi male medical students aged 18 and above participated in this cross-sectional survey done in Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University in Al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia. All subjects answered a generalized questionnaire that was piloted and included information on demographics and Epworth-sleepiness scale (ESS).
Results: Excessive daytime sleepiness was observed in 37.8% of the subjects. Only 22 (13.7%) of the subjects had less than 4 hours of sleep while majority (70.8%) fell within 4–8 hours. Comparison between subjects with normal sleep versus those with excessive daytime sleepiness revealed no significant differences, including Grade Point Average (GPA) scores.
Conclusions: Excessive daytime sleepiness is common among Saudi male medical students and this does not seem to influence GPA scores. Prospective studies are needed to validate the present findings.