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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 80-87

The impact of social media volume and addiction on medical student sleep quality and academic performance: A cross-sectional observational study


Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Al Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU), Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Saad Mohammed Al Suwayri
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Al Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU), P.O. Box 7544, Riyadh
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijas.ijas_34_16

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Problem Statement: Social media use may be detrimental to sleep quality, self-esteem, and mental health and may affect academic performance in medical students. However, the effects of problematic social media use on sleep quality and academic performance in medical students are unknown. Approach: A total of 170 medical students in a Saudi Arabian medical school were studied. The relationships between social media use volume (duration of use per day) and addiction (measured using the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale) of seven platforms and (i) quality of sleep measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and (ii) academic performance according to the grade point average were examined. Caffeine intake was considered as a potential confounder, and data were analyzed using uni- and multi-variable logistic regression. Results: Poor quality sleep (72.9% and 63.5% during the week or at the weekend, respectively) and social media addiction (27.1% addicted to three or more platforms) were common. Individuals with high-volume WhatsApp (odds ratio [OR] 1.59 [1.20–2.10], P = 0.001) and Snapchat (OR 1.41 [1.10–1.81], P = 0.007) use were more likely to have very poor sleep quality at the weekend, the latter persisting in multivariable analysis. Students who were addicted to Snapchat (OR 2.53 [1.03–6.22], P = 0.044) or who were addicted to three or more social media platforms (OR 2.93 [1.19–7.23], P = 0.019) had an even greater risk of very poor weekend sleep quality. Social media addiction was not associated with academic performance. Conclusions/Recommendations: Educational programs on sleep and social media hygiene and changes to class start times to prevent weekend sleep debt should be considered.


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