Reasons for why Medical Students Prefer Specific Sleep Management Strategies

Cassian J. Duthie, Claire Cameron, Kelby Smith-Han, Lutz Beckert, Shenyll Delpachitra, Sheila N. Garland, Bryn Sparks, Erik Wibowo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Insomnia symptoms are common among medical students. This study explored the perspectives of medical students about which sleep management strategies to use. Methods: Medical students responded to an online survey on their thoughts about the use of various sleep management strategies. Results: Of the 828 respondents, 568 (69%) provided responses to questions about the most preferred strategies and 450 (54%) provided responses about their least preferred strategies. About 48.5% felt their insomnia symptoms were too mild to see a clinician and 23.9% did not think their symptoms warranted sleep medication. Over 40% of students could not avoid work before sleep, have consistent sleep/wake times, or engage in regular exercise because of their busy and inconsistent schedules. Approximately 40–60% could not improve their sleep environment (e.g. better heating and bed) because of the associated costs. Over 80% reported an inability to change their pre-sleep habits (e.g. using electronics close to bedtime, using bed for activities other than sleep or sex). Half of the students disliked relaxation techniques or felt they would not help. Around 30–50% did not believe that changing caffeine and/or alcohol intake would affect their sleep. Conclusions: Medical students may benefit from additional sleep education. Clinicians may need to discuss which strategies individual students prefer and modify their recommendations accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-529
Number of pages14
JournalBehavioral Sleep Medicine
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Feb 2024

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