Prevalence of Insomnia and Its Impact on Academic Performance Among Respiratory Therapy Students in Saudi Arabia (SA) and the United States of America (USA).

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Saudi Digital Library
Background: Insomnia is a common sleep disorder characterized by difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up early in the morning, along with significant distress and impairments of daytime functioning. It is a prevalent sleep complaint among health science students, due to an overburdened academic load, protracted intensive study periods, and stressful lifestyles to maintain an outstanding grade point average (GPA). Therefore, insomnia can adversely affect students' health and academic performance. Purpose: This study aimed to assess the prevalence of insomnia and its impact on academic performance among respiratory therapy students in Saudi Arabia (SA) and the United States of America (USA). Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted between June 9 and September 12, 2023. Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) was distributed electronically to students' email addresses through direct coordination with RT department directors. Data were collected from RT students in both countries by using a non-probability convenience sampling technique. Descriptive statistics of the participants were presented in frequencies, percentages, means, and standard deviations. A one-way ANOVA test was used to measure the significant differences of ISI scores among categorical groups. Results: A total of 403 responses were received from both countries. The majority of them were from Saudi Arabia (79.9%) and (20.1%) from the United States. The study findings showed that the prevalence of insomnia among RT students in SA and the USA was found to be 32% and 21%, respectively. In addition, ISI scores were significantly higher among Saudi RT students who were female, in their second academic year, current smokers, single, and those with a poor cumulative GPA. However, ISI scores were significantly higher only among current smoker RT students in the USA. Conclusion: Insomnia was a prevalent sleep disorder among respiratory therapy students in both Saudi Arabia and the United States. Insomnia was negatively correlated with students' academic performance. Several demographic factors were significantly associated with a higher level of insomnia, including gender, academic year, smoking status, marital status, and GPA. Therefore, this study provides valuable insights for educational institutions and stakeholders to work collaboratively to implement tailored interventions and coping strategies that support students' healthy sleep habits, mental well-being, and academic achievement
Insomnia, Academic Performance, Respiratory Therapy, Saudi Arabia, United States