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Prevalence of sleep problems and habits among children in Saudi Arabia: A cross-sectional study.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate children's sleep problems, habits, and lifestyle changes.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, over a period of 2 months, from August through September 2022, with parents of children aged 2-14 years after reviewing the literature and formulating a validated Google questionnaire containing 30 questions related to sleep habits, problems, and disorders.

RESULTS: In total, 585 questionnaires were included in the analysis. The sample comprised 345 (59%) males and 240 (41%) females. The mean age of patients was 7 (range: 2-14) years. Bed-time resistance was the most prevalent sleep problem (70.3%), followed by sleep-onset delay (58.1%), difficulty waking up in the morning on weekdays (41.3%), weekends (38%), and interrupted sleep (31%). An alarmingly high prevalence of hyperactivity (41.8%) and aggressive behaviour (42.2%) was noted. Co-sleeping with parents was reported in 41% of children. Night terror was reported in 20.6% and 26.5% in nightmares. Statistically significant associations were noted between screen time, snoring, and witnessed apnoea with sleep problems.

CONCLUSION: Sleep problems are common among children in Saudi Arabia. The study sheds some light on sleep habits and practices in this age group in Saudi Arabia, such as the high prevalence of bed-time resistance and sleep-onset delay, hyperactivity, and sleep-affecting culprits such as screen time, snoring, and witnessed apnoea.

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