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Poor Sleep Quality in Medical Students is Related to Sleep Habits and Emotional Symptoms: A Pilot Study Conducted in México


Introduction and Purpose

The quality of sleep in medical students is usually poor, especially during the first years of the degree due to multiple factors. This poor-quality sleep has multiple consequences on the physical and emotional health of students in both the short and long term. The objective was to evaluate the sleep quality in a sample of first-grade medical students and its related factors.


A cross-sectional pilot study was conducted in first-grade medical students of both sexes, with no history of neurological or psychiatric illness. The following evaluations were performed: Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Sleep Hygiene Index (SHI), Epworth scale, and an emotional symptoms questionnaire


100 medical students, 66 women and 34 men were included; mean age: 18.8 years; daily transportation time: 2.28 h. 77% of students showed a poor sleep quality (PSQ); hours of daily sleep: 4.74; Sleep Hygiene Index: 17.13; Epworth scale: 9.2. A significant correlation between the PSQI and SHI (Spearman r = 0.5750 p < 0.0001), and emotional symptoms (Spearman; r = 0.3170 p = 0.0053) was observed.


A high frequency of poor sleep quality was observed in medical students during the first year of the degree (> 70%); The main factors that determine poor sleep quality in medical students are the emotional symptoms and bad sleep habits, which means that these factors can be potentially preventable and modifiable in this population.

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We are very grateful to medical student María Soto Lara for the revision of the English language of this manuscript.


The authors declare that there was no source of financing to declare since this investigation was carried out with the researchers' own resources.

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Authors and Affiliations



PC-M: was the intellectual author of the research and made the design and analysis of the information as well as the preparation of the manuscript. DMF-V: Performed the analysis of information and support in the discussion of the results. KM-V and JP-P: Carried out all the recruitment and the application of scales and questionnaires to the participants.

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Correspondence to Paul Carrillo-Mora.

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The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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The research was part of a project reviewed and approved by the research committee of the National Institute of Rehabilitation-LGII (39/13).

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All participants agreed to participate by informed consent, where they declare to agree with the anonymous publication of the information of the present study.

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Carrillo-Mora, P., Fonseca-Vázquez, D.M., Magaña-Vázquez, K. et al. Poor Sleep Quality in Medical Students is Related to Sleep Habits and Emotional Symptoms: A Pilot Study Conducted in México. Sleep Vigilance 5, 99–102 (2021).

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  • Medical students
  • Sleep quality
  • Sleep Hygiene
  • Risk factors
  • México