Introduction: Due to stressful occupational conditions, irregular dietary and sleep schedules, medical students are at high risk for the development of gastrointestinal disorders, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) in particular, as well as sleep disturbances. Therefore, for the first time, the current study is aimed to assess the correlation between GERD and sleep disturbances among medical students.
Methods: The current cross-sectional study has been conducted on 290 medical students at different stages of medical science in Iran in 2018-19. The information, including age, gender, stage of studying, residence, and body mass index (BMI), were gathered. The frequency scale for the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux (FSSG) was utilized to assess gastrointestinal symptoms among them and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) to assess sleep quality. Eventually, the association of sleep disturbances with demographic factors and gastrointestinal symptoms was evaluated.
Results: Residence in dormitory (P-value=0.048; OR: 1.73; 95%CI: 1.01-2.99) and overweight (P-value<0.001; OR: 3.09; 95%CI: 1.58-6.06) were independently correlated with impaired sleep quality. Besides, GERD presented either by heartburn (P-value<0.001) or regurgitation (P-value<0.001) were associated with a low quality of life.
Conclusion: We observed that GERD is associated with poor sleep quality among medical students. In addition, residence in dormitory and overweight, but gender and grade of studying, are the two independent predictors of poor sleep quality among the medical students.