Hassan bin Azam, Muhammad Nauman Chaudhry, Ayesha Inam
An individual’s Chronotype, i.e. natural sleep time preference, determines that individual’s periods of alertness and wakefulness during the 24-hour day. Extremes of chronotype variations can cause a person difficulty in participating in normal academic or social activities if their preferred periods of sleep and wakefulness/alertness do not coincide with these scheduled activities. Numerous studies have also co-related different chronotype patterns with higher risks of developing health impairing behaviours and mental disorders. Hence, finding the prevalence of different chronotypes is important as extreme patterns can be considered as a risk factor for imbalances in health and daily life. This research also seeks to explore whether there was any appreciable difference in academic performance across the spectrum of chronotype patterns and observe any significant differences across genders and age. Material and Methods: A descriptive, cross sectional survey was conducted in which 384 medical students (MBBS, BDS and DPT), selected by convenience sampling, filled out the pre validated and internationally used Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (Horne & Ostberg, 1976), comprising 19 questions with a scoring key that grades individuals into morning, evening or intermediate types. Certain student demographics were also collected. First year medical students were excluded as percentage scored in last professional examination was taken as the criteria for student performance. Statistical data, thus obtained was analyzed using SPSS version 23. Results: Out of 384 students, 220 were females (57.29%) and 164 were males (42.71%) aged 19-26 years, with a mean age of 21.72 with SD 1.27. Out of these 384 students, 91 fell in the evening category (23.7%), 59 were in the morning category (15.4%) while 234 were in the intermediate category (60.9%). Females had a higher percentage of evening types (26.8%) as compared to males (18.9%), however this was found to be insignificant by Chi-square test. Age classes also didn’t seem to have significant difference of chronotype frequencies. However, some association was observed between academic performance and chronotypes. Conclusion: Medical students showed a higher percentage of the evening chronotype than the general population, and a lesser percentage of morning types. However, more than half lie in the Intermediate category, which is also a greater proportion as compared to the general population. Further research is required to thoroughly study the association between student performance and chronotype.