266561 Accumulating sleep debt before residency: Sleep deprivation in first-year medical students

Monday, October 29, 2012

Anna Adachi-Mejia, PhD , Department of Pediatrics & The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI), The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth & The Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Lebanon, NH
Glen Greenough, MD , Sleep Disorders Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH
Telisa Stewart, DrPH , Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Lebanon, NH
Concern about healthy sleep habits has yet to appear as a mainstream public health concern, even though workplace sleep deprivation can lead to inefficiencies and fatal errors. Considerable changes have been made to address the problem of sleep deprivation in medical residency, including limiting work hours. But how much sleep debt have residents previously accumulated? What do their sleep habits reveal about their attitude about sleep and sleep deprivation? We asked first-year medical students about their sleep habits in an online survey; 19 (21.1% response rate) provided complete data. Respondents were 72.0% female, 18-29 years, 8% Hispanic/Latino, 30.4% Asian, 4.3% Black, 4.3% American Indian. Most (91.7%) used an alarm clock to wake up on weekdays, whereas one-quarter (25%) used alarm clocks on weekends. Almost half (41.7%) reported almost always having a hard time getting out of bed on days they had class, and one-quarter (25%) reported more often than not having a hard time getting out of bed. Over half reported going to bed at midnight (26.1%) or later (25.9%) on nights before class, yet ironically half (52.2%) said that their main reason for going to bed on those nights was to get enough sleep for the next day. More than one-third (39.1%) reported falling asleep in less than 15 minutes; a possible sign of sleep debt. Almost half (45.5%) reported less than an average of 7 hours of sleep per night. Over half (54.6%) reported not getting enough sleep for 8 or more days in the past month.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe sleep hygiene. Describe sleep habits and sleep duration in first-year medical students. Discuss the paradox of protective measures being implemented for residency for a generation of students who have accumulated sleep debt well before residency.

Keywords: Health Promotion, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My research addresses the area of healthy sleep habits and I am the Principal Investigator of this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3060.0: Workplace Health Promotion I