Sleep is a vital, biological process essential for physical & psychological restoration. Unfortunately, sleep loss due to voluntary bedtime curtailment has become a hallmark of modern society of which the student community forms an important segment. Owing to their hectic schedules, medical students, in particular, are known to have erratic sleep patterns and suffer from sleep disturbances, fatigue and mood changes. Hence, this study was designed to record the incidence of sleep deprivation and its impact on mood disorders and recent memory. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 100 medical college students. The subjects and controls were selected on the basis of a standardized questionnaire on Sleep Pattern and Epworth Sleepiness scale Score. Both groups were administered the DASS 21 questionnaire for assessing mood disorders while recent memory was tested using the PGI-BBD questionnaire. We observed that 35% of students were sleep deprived. Also, 53% suffered from depression and 64% reported anxiety, both parameters correlating significantly (p=0.05) with sleep deprivation. Stress was seen in 59% though only mild stress had a significant correlation with sleep deprivation (p=0.05). Recent memory dysfunction was found to be positively linked to disturbances in mild and moderate sleep deprivation. Thus, our study found a large segment of students being sleep deprived and its significant correlation with mood disorders and recent memory disturbances. We hope that these results will create awareness amongst the students of the crucial importance of adequate sleep in stabilizing mood and enhancing their performance.
: Dhananjay Gupta