Medical Students’ Stress Levels Are Correlated with Their Sleep Quality and Life Satisfaction


  • Ervin Ozdemir Fifth-year Medical Student, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.
  • Yigit Yazarkan Fifth-year Medical Student, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.
  • Bilge Pehlivanoglu MD, Associate Professor, Department of Physiology, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.



Medical Students , Stress, Psychological, Sleep Quality, Life Satisfaction, Cross-Sectional Studies, Anxiety, Cortisol, Blood Pressure, Heart rate, Saliva, Biological Markers, Gender Differences, Body Mass Index (BMI), Alcohol Drinking, Smoking, Caffeine, Sleep Disorders, Psychological Well-being, Academic Performance, Health Surveys


Background: Stress and sleep disturbances associated with low life satisfaction is frequently reported during medical education, intervening with the academic achievements and general well-being of medical students. We aimed to investigate the effects of stress levels on sleep quality (SQ) and life satisfaction (LS) of the students in Hacettepe University Medical Faculty (HUMF).

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at HUMF between May and September 2022 after ethical approval. The participants (39 women and 48 men) completed a personal information form, State- Trait Anxiety Index (STAI)-I and II, Pittsburgh SQ Index (PSQI) and Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). Their blood pressure, heart rate, and salivary cortisol levels were measured.

Results: The men and women were comparable for age, body mass index (BMI), stress parameters and PSQI scores, except the higher LS in women (P=0.045). Gender-based analysis revealed positively correlated BMI and STAI-I (r=0.357) and II (r=0.501) scores in women (P<0.05), and a similar but a weaker correlation for STAI-II scores in men (r=0.291) (P<0.05). The study group exhibited poor SQ (>5). The higher STAI-II scores, cortisol concentration and caffeine consumption were significantly associated with poorer SQ and LS in both genders, however, the state scores and alcohol consumption exhibited a significant relation in men, only. Higher scores for trait inventory and cortisol concentrations correlated negatively with LS in all participants.

Conclusion: Awareness, a proactive approach, and sufficient support can help the relieve and/or manage the stress of medical students and improve SQ and LS.


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The image displays a table titled "Stress Parameters and Scores of Sleep Quality (PSQI) and Life Satisfaction (SWLS) Scales of the Study Participants." It compares various metrics between 49 male and 38 female participants. The characteristics measured include STAI-1 and STAI-2 scores, salivary cortisol levels, mean arterial blood pressure, heart rate, and scores on the PSQI and SWLS scales. For each characteristic, the table presents the mean values and standard deviations for both men and women. Men show slightly higher STAI-1 scores and lower STAI-2 scores than women. Cortisol levels are roughly comparable. Blood pressure is slightly higher in men, while heart rates are marginally higher in women. PSQI scores are similar, though men's scores are slightly higher, indicating poorer sleep quality. The SWLS scores, which measure life satisfaction, are notably higher in women, marked with a dagger symbol to possibly indicate a significant difference.


2024-03-27 — Updated on 2024-04-12

How to Cite

Ozdemir, E., Yazarkan, Y., & Pehlivanoglu, B. (2024). Medical Students’ Stress Levels Are Correlated with Their Sleep Quality and Life Satisfaction. International Journal of Medical Students, 12(1), 53–59.