Background: Smartphones are used worldwide. Consequently, it does seem to be having an impact on health-related problems if overused. However, it is uncertain whether it is associated with sleep problems or poor learning.
Objective: To determine the association between smartphone overuse and sleep problems in medical students as primary outcome and poor learning as secondary outcome
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 89 students having their own smartphones, at Hatyai Medical Education Centre, Thailand. The habits of using smartphone were obtained. Smartphone overuse during bedtime was defined as using longer than 1 hour according to Smartphone Addiction Scale (SAS). The primary outcome was napping in a classroom that was defined as a problem if it happened more than 20% of the time attending class. Sleep problems using Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) were obtained by self-assessment. Learning outcome measured by grade point average was the secondary outcome. Multivariable analysis was performed for the association between smartphone overuse and sleep problems.
Results: Of all students, 77.5% had sleep problems and 43.6% had napped in the classroom No personal characteristics, daily life behaviours, and physical environments were associated with sleep problems. 70.8% of all students found to over use smartphones during bedtime. The Facebook website was the most popular. Smartphone overuse was significantly associated with poor sleep quality (odds ratio= 3.46) and napping in the classroom (odds ratio=4.09) but not grade point average.
Conclusion: Smartphone overuse during bedtime in medical students is associated with sleep problems but not learning achievement.
Keywords: Napping in Classroom, Sleep Problems, Smartphone Overuse
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