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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 197-204

Stress, sleep, and use of sleep aids among physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic


1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine; Department of Neurosciences, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz University Hospital, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Neurosciences, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz University Hospital, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Deemah AlAteeq
Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Department of Neurosciences, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz University Hospital, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jnsm.jnsm_177_20

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Purpose: The aim of this study is to explore the use of sleeping aids among physicians in Saudi Arabia and its correlation with stress and insomnia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: A sample of 1313 physicians was collected through an online cross-sectional convenience survey. The survey was E-mailed by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties to the registered physicians in Saudi Arabia during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes questions related to personal and sociodemographic characteristics, COVID-19, sleep-aid use, the Insomnia Severity Index, and the Perceived Stress Scale. Results: The participants were from various job levels (398 consultants, 1919 registrars, and 716 residents) and mainly from the central (38.2%) and Western (35%) regions. More than a third of them were using sleep aids (38.6%), which were mostly melatonin (75.7%). More than half of them had insomnia (67.1%), and the majority had moderate to high perceived stress (80.1%). Significant associations were found between insomnia and a number of personal and sociodemographic characteristics: Single status, young physicians, residents, smokers, and involvement in a COVID-19 management team. Other significant associations were found between stress and a number of personal and sociodemographic characteristics: Female sex, single status, young physicians, residents, working in the Ministry of Health, being on call 5–8 times/month, and involvement in a COVID-19 management team. Conclusions: Physicians in Saudi Arabia have had increased insomnia, stress, and use of sleep aids during the COVID-19 pandemic. Single, young physicians need more attention to support their psychological well-being.


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