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Internet addiction and sleep quality in medical undergraduates of a university in southern India

1 Senior Resident, Department of Psychiatry, SDM College of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara University, Dharwad, Karnataka, India
2 Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Yenepoya Medical College and Hospital, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Deralakatte, Mangalore, India
3 Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Yenepoya Medical College and Hospital, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Deralakatte, Mangalore, India
4 Senior Registrar, North Western Mental Health, Melbourne Health, Melbourne, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Ravichandra Karkal,
Department of Psychiatry, Yenepoya Medical College, Deralakatte, Mangaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amh.amh_53_21

Background: The Internet has pervaded our daily lives and is well known to lead to addictive behaviors. Internet addiction (IA) and its influence on quality of sleep have not gained much attention from researchers in India. Aims: We aimed to study the rates of IA and its association with quality of sleep in medical undergraduates. Settings and Design: It was a cross-sectional study evaluating 158 final-year medical undergraduate students at a university in southern India. Materials and Methods: The Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) were applied on consenting participants after recruitment using purposive sampling. Statistical Analysis Used: Independent samples t-test was done to evaluate the association of gender with sleep quality. Analysis of variance was done to compare sleep quality in various degrees of IA. Pearson's bivariate correlation was done to see the relationship between the severity of IA and the global sleep quality. Results: More than half of the participants, i.e. 90 (57.0%), had IA, with 2 (1.3%) having severe IA. The rates of IA were similar in both genders. Forty (25.3%) participants were having poor sleep quality as measured by global PSQI cutoff score >5. Participants with moderate-to-severe IA had significantly poor sleep quality compared to participants with mild IA (P = 0.042*). A positive correlation was seen between IAT scores and global PSQI scores (P = 0.012*). Conclusions: IA is prevalent in medical undergraduates and has a negative impact on quality of sleep. Severity of IA predicts global sleep quality in the participants.

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