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Does Sleep Quality Affect Medical Student’s Academic Performance

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 2354 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Statement of the Problem

Sleep quality is how well a person sleeps and the duration of time falling asleep. Sleep quantity is the amount of sleep they get at night. Sleep quality and quantity play a major factor in college students with low academic performance. This causes students to not show their best ability in their class or classwork. Especially, medical students that have an overwhelming amount of studying and assignments to maintain good grades in all their courses. Medical student’s academic year could potentially affect their sleep quality and quantity. A survey will be given to scale the sleep duration and amount of sleep a medical student influences their good academic performance.

The justification and Significance of the Study.

Sleep Quality & Quantity on Academic Performance (GPA)

The amount and duration of sleep a college student gets every night can potentially affect their academic performance. From 2011 to 2013 the prevalence of poor sleep quality was 1.75 times higher for students with poor academic performance compared with students with good academic performance. (Wang, et al., 2016)Similarity, poor academic performance, and sleep quality were found to be associated among college students but we’re not able to find an association with sleep duration. (Lemma, et al, 2014). However, long sleepers reported having a higher grade point average. Short sleepers with a (2.7) GPA and long sleepers with a (3.24) GPA (Kelly, Kelly, and Clanton, 2001). Furthermore, higher academic standing students had earlier bedtimes, sleep duration, and less refreshing sleep. Most students reported having poor quality sleep (Cvejic, Huang, and Vollmer-Conna, 2017). Similarity, the academic performance had been shown having poor sleep quality. 28% of the “excellent” group revealed having better sleeping quality and is associated with higher academic performance. Opposed to 78% of the “average” group went to bed later and had low academic performance. GPAs were low or high depending on bedtime and sleep quality. (BaHammam, Alaseem, Alzakri, Almeneessier, and Sharif, 2012). Studied have shown a clear association between academic performance and sleep quality.

Medical Students Academic Year

  The academic performance can differ from medical school year based on their sleep quality.  The Third and first-year medical students had poor sleep quality compared to second and fourth medical students (Ayala, Berry, Winseman, and Mason, 2018).  In contrast to first and second-year students were found to be “very bad or fairly bad” on sleep quality ( Corrêa, Oliveira, Pizzamiglio, Ortolan, and Weber, 2017). However, Morrocan medical students who were in their third to the fifth year revealed having low sleep quality compared to the first and second year (Hangouche, et al., 2018). In additionally, first-year medicals students in Sanshton reported having poor quality sleep (Goel, Malhorta, and Tripat, 2016). The academic year of medical students can impact their sleep quality.

Sleep Quantity & Quality of Medical Students

Medical students and their academic year can affect their sleep quality. However, most medical students regardless of their academic year tend to have poor sleep quality. The medical student should able to get enough sleep every night in order to be successful in their education.  If they don’t receive the right amount of sleep, it could interfere with their ability to focus in class and on their school work. When they get enough sleep, they are able to process better and also feel better, almost like a power-up. Also, Medical students did best on exams when they wake up early on weekdays and weekends (Johns, Dudley and Masterton,1976). Contrary to the number of students that reported they stood up all night at least once in the past month was 20%, and the amount who stayed up until 3 a.m at least once a week was 35% (Lund, Reider, Whiting, and Prichard, 2009).  Although, the majority of Kenya university students slept between 5-6 hours on weekdays and 6-7 hrs. This isn’t only a nationwide issue, but it is a worldwide issue as well. Most students had a GPA of a B (3.0) but still did not want to participant in class activities or attend task the following day. University students sleep negatively affected their academic performance (Gikunda, Abura, Kiriungi, and Mugam, 2009). In Inner Magnolia, the medical students received a lower grade 1 and 2 due to higher sleeping problems compared to higher grade 3,4, and 5. Also, the prevalence of poor sleep quality was higher in 2013 contrast to 2011. In 2013, students sleep more than 7 hours per night compared to  2011. It is known that students how to sleep more hours, tend to get a higher GPA compared to those who sleep less. (Wang, et al., 2016). Similarity, In Pakistan, the medical students with a GPA of 2.0-2.7 reported having poor quality sleep compared to good sleepers with a GPA of 3.3 (Maheshwari and Shaukat, 2019). There are many students who do not get the appropriate amount of sleep because they are usually up doing school work or studying for exams. 54.7% of incoming university students from Cheng Kung University reported having poor sleep quality (Cheng, et al., 2012). At the university in Taiwan, the majority of students have a deficiency of sleep. Medical students are the ones who really suffer from sleep quality because they’re studies are usually more difficult. Malaysian medical student reported having 16% of poor sleep quality (Zailinawati, et al., 2019). Many medical students from different countries have trouble getting enough sleep which potentially affects their GPA.



A survey flyer will be emailed to students by the office of URI nursing committee which then is sent to students enrolled in the University of Rhode Island’s nursing program. In the email, there will be a link to surveymonkey.com. The survey is voluntary and will have a confidential form before doing the survey. Also, students will not be compensated. The sampling method is non-probability convenience sampling.

 Survey Monkey

When finished with the confidential form, the survey will start with a few questions will ask demographics such as age, class year, gender, and race. The sleep quality questions based on PSQI will ask how they sleep throughout the night and the number of hours. The questions will be about if/how they are sleeping on weekdays and weekends.  Also, students will rate from 1 (very good) to 4 (very poor) for their sleep quality. Students will also self-report their GPA( grade point average). The survey will contain 15 items. The result will be scaled by the Pittsburgh sleep quality index and student’s GPA to determine an association.

Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index

Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was developed by Buysse et al. (1989). “The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) is a self-rated questionnaire which assesses sleep quality and disturbances over a 1-month time interval. Nineteen individual items generate seven “component” scores: subjective sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration, habitual sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, use of sleeping medication, and daytime dysfunction. The sum of scores for these seven components yields one global score. Clinical and clinimetric properties of the PSQI were assessed over an 18-month period with “good” sleepers (healthy subjects, n = 52) and “poor” sleepers (depressed patients, n = 54; sleep-disorder patients, n = 62). Acceptable measures of internal homogeneity, consistency (test-retest reliability), and validity were obtained. A global PSQI score greater than 5 yielded a diagnostic sensitivity of 89.6% and specificity of 86.5% (kappa = 0.75, p less than 0.001) in distinguishing good and poor sleepers. The clinimetric and clinical properties of the PSQI suggest its utility both in psychiatric clinical practice and research activities”(Buysse et al. 1989).

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students will self-report their grade point average. The scale on the GPA will be (3.5 or higher) to be a good academic standing. Also, (3.3-2.5 or lower) to be scaled as low academic standing. 3.5 is the requirement for nursing students at the University of Rhode Island.


The statistical analysis that will be conducted of t-independence means to show the differences between sleep quality and academic performance. Also, descriptive statistics will be used to describe the demographics of the study. Including age, class year, gender, and race. With the PSQI index results, the 7 components will be compared to the GPA scores. Using the statistical analysis of t-independence means to show any difference between sleep quality and academic performance. Nevertheless, the sleep duration can be tested the same way as for sleep quality. For examples, if If students are greater than 5 in the PSQI and had a low academic standing of (3.3) will be classified as having poor quality sleep. Multi-Linear Regression to show if poor sleep quality and quantity can predict the academic performance of medical students. The regression line can show a positive or negative relationship between the variables. The statistical analysis will be used to determine an association between sleep quantity and quality can affect medical students grade point average.


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