Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 1137–1144 | Cite as

Uncovering the sleep disorders among young doctors

  • Rashidah Yasin
  • Dittapol Muntham
  • Naricha Chirakalwasan
Sleep Breathing Physiology and Disorders • Original Article



Sleepiness and tiredness are common complaints among young doctors. Sleep deprivation is believed to be the main culprit. However, we believe that there may be other sleep disorders which may contribute to these symptoms such as occult obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).


A prospective cross-sectional study was performed among young doctors less than 40 years old, working at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand, and Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, using questionnaires and home sleep apnea testing (Apnealink™Plus). The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of OSA (apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) ≥5). The secondary objectives were to evaluate the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) defined by AHI ≥5 + excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), sleep deprivation (the difference of weekend (non-workdays) and weekday (workdays) wake-up time of at least 2 h), EDS (Epworth Sleepiness Scale score ≥10), tiredness, and perception of inadequate sleep as well as to identify their predictors.


Total of 52 subjects completed the study. Mean age and mean body mass index (BMI) were 31.3 ± 4 and 23.3 ± 3.6, respectively. The prevalence of OSA and OSAS were 40.4 and 5.8 %, respectively. One third of OSA subjects were at least moderate OSA. Prevalence of sleep deprivation, EDS, tiredness, and perception of inadequate sleep were 44.2, 15.4, 65.4, and 61.5 %, respectively. History of snoring, being male, and perception of inadequate sleep were significant predictors for OSA with the odds ratio of 34.5 (p = 0.016, 95 % CI = 1.92–619.15), 18.8 (p = 0.001, 95 % CI = 3.10–113.41), and 7.4 (p = 0.037, 95 % CI = 1.13–48.30), respectively. Only observed apnea was a significant predictor for OSAS with odds ratio of 30.7 (p = 0.012, 95 % CI = 2.12–442.6). Number of naps per week was a significant predictor for EDS with the odds ratio of 1.78 (p = 0.007, 95 % CI = 1.17–2.71). OSA and total number of call days per month were significant predictors for tiredness with the odds ratio of 4.8 (p = 0.036, 95 % CI = 1.11–20.72) and 1.3 (p = 0.050, 95 % CI = 1.0004–1.61), respectively. OSA was the only significant predictor for perception of inadequate sleep with the odd ratios of 4.5 (p = 0.022, 95 % CI = 1.24–16.59).


Our results demonstrated relatively high prevalence of OSA and OSAS among young doctors. Snoring, being male, and perception of inadequate sleep were significant predictors for OSA. Observed apnea was a significant predictor for OSAS. OSA was a significant predictor for tiredness and perception of inadequate sleep.


Obstructive sleep apnea Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome Excessive daytime sleepiness Sleep disorder 



Apnealink™Plus devices were provided by ResMed Limited. However, the company has no impact on study design or interpretation of the result of the study.

Compliance with ethical standards


No funding was received for this research.

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements) or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of MedicineChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Excellence Center for Sleep Disorders, King Chulalongkorn Memorial HospitalThai Red Cross SocietyBangkokThailand
  3. 3.Institute of Respiratory MedicineHospital Kuala LumpurKuala LumpurMalaysia
  4. 4.Oriental Melaka Straits Medical CenterMelakaMalaysia
  5. 5.Section for Mathematics, Faculty of Science and TechnologyRajamangala University of Technology SuvarnabhumiPhranakhon Si AyutthayaThailand
  6. 6.Rajamangala University of Technology SuvarnabhumiPhranakhon Si AyutthayaThailand
  7. 7.King Chulalongkorn Memorial HospitalBangkokThailand

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