Sleep A systematic review study investigated the

Sleep disorders are significant
public health problem affect large number of population. They are defined as disturbance
in the sleep pattern which may be caused by different reasons like current life
style, exposure to stress, or decreased physical activity.1,2 Many
studies showed that sleep disorders may be associated with a variety of
psychiatric diseases, 3 cognitive dysfunction and reduced quality of
life.4 However, inadequate attention are paid to sleep disorders
from medical professionals and public.

      A
study about the prevalence of short duration sleep among Saudi adolescences was
conducted at (2012). It showed that about 31% of the participants had less than
7 hours of sleep per day while 50% obtained less than 8 hours of daily sleep.5
Another study assess the prevalence of sleep duration among Saudis (2017)
reported that 33.8% had short sleep duration, and this accompanied with different
medical problems as obesity, hypertension ,diabetes mellitus, and depression.6  Both studies showed that almost one
third of Saudis have short duration of sleep while the optimal duration of
sleep for healthy individuals is about 7-8 hours. 7

Many factors may affect the
individual sleep pattern. They could be physiologic or behavioral factors as
inadequate sleep hygiene (irregular sleep-wake schedule , inappropriate sleep
environment), alcohol, drinking caffeine after lunch and using technology before
going to bed.8 In addition, Anxiety, depression and lower
socioeconomic situation are also factors that make falling asleep difficult.9
A systematic review study investigated the role of negative cognition, social
isolation, and unhelpful emotion regulation strategies in sleep problems and
suicidal thoughts as well.10

      Diagnosis
and effective treatment of sleep disorders are not yet well studied. Study
conducted among African Americans reported that undiagnosed sleep disorders was
93.3% with insomnia and about 97.6% undiagnosed sleep apnea.11 In
order to effectively treat sleep disorders, public should be aware about the
seriousness of this condition and seek for the medical help.

     Non-pharmacological
treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered the first line treatment
of sleep disorders. However, physicians cannot easily apply CBT to the patients
because it takes considerable amount of time and efforts. So, sleeping aids are
preferentially prescribed in clinical practice.12 A Study among
population in United States reported that about 19 million (10%) of the
participants have been used a sleep aid medication.13

       A review was published at 2011 about Sleep aids
medicines in Saudi Arabia and concluded that the knowledge and attitudes of general
public towards sleep aids is one of the obstacles facing
the practice of treatment. In this study, Saudi public have been developed
their own ideas and myths about sleep because they accept information about
sleep disorders from any sources even if the information is not authentic. Some
public thought that their sleep disorders is a part of their nature and not
take sleep disorder as a serious as other health problems.14

Further studies are still
needed to assess the attitude of Saudi people towards the use of sleep aids and
to identify their reasons to seek for medical help.