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‘Sleep Matters’ Research Finds 40% of KSA Residents Have Trouble Sleeping

by georges, March 12, 2015

Results Highlight Link between Sleep and Quality of Life

15 October 2014, Dubai, UAE – A research study commissioned by Intercoil, the Middle East’s leading mattress and bedding manufacturer, in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has revealed that almost 40% of KSA residents have trouble sleeping, with significantly more women than men reporting they have always or often trouble sleeping at night.

The study, conducted by YouGov during August 2014, included 519 respondents and was carried out under the ‘Sleep Matters’ umbrella, a community initiative aimed at improving people’s lives by educating, informing and encouraging health and wellbeing for residents across the Middle East. The first and most comprehensive resource in the region for all information related to sleep, Sleep Matters has been created by Intercoil as a platform that unites experts and the community around a shared goal – getting a good night’s sleep.

According to the survey, the top factors that influence the quality of sleep are: daily life worries and stress, bedroom temperature, noise, and the quality of mattress, which the majority believes is the most important item in the bedroom. Significantly more of those who have trouble falling asleep claim they ‘worry easily about life in general’ and have ‘a lot of stress in their life’.

Almost a quarter of the respondents claim to sleep less than 5 hours per night – a factor that can potentially lead to the development of many chronic long term health conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Overall, respondents sleep an average of 6.7 hours during weekdays and 7.7 hours during weekends. 82% of those who always or often have trouble sleeping claimed they “wish they could sleep better at night”.

With a majority of respondents (80%) recognizing that healthy sleep leads to a healthy life, two thirds of the total group acknowledged that lack of sleep affects their daily functions. One in three respondents has had accidents or near-accidents when driving because they felt sleepy.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Hassan Al Hazeem, Managing Director of Intercoil, said: “Through the nature of our business, we constantly engage with people who are not only looking to buy a mattress or bed, but to improve the quality of their sleep. By raising awareness of the importance of a good night’s sleep and helping people find ways to improve their sleep, we strongly believe we can have a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Dr. Melanie Schlatter, Health Psychologist at Health Psychology UAE added: “The results of the survey highlight the link between sleep and one’s overall quality of life. While the majority of respondents acknowledge that poor sleep affects their everyday functioning, and factors such as daily stress and worries have an impact on the quality of sleep, people don’t seem to be aware of the wide range of options available to help them.”

Making manageable lifestyle changes can make a significant difference to quality of sleep; from scheduling your dinner at least two hours prior to bedtime, to taking moderate exercise, even a 20 minute daily walk, making sure your mattress offers the right support, to creating a calming and relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom.

For more details on ‘Sleep Matters’ please visit the website: www.sleepmattersme.com

About Intercoil International:

Established in 1974, Intercoil International is a leading UAE based manufacturer, distributor and retailer of total sleep solutions across the MENA region. The company is a family-owned business, founded by the late Mr. Abbas Ali AI-Hazeem, and currently managed by Mr. Hassan Abbas AI-Hazeem, who is passionately committed to developing Intercoil into a globally recognised brand, achieving sustainable growth and becoming the market leader in orthopaedic sleep systems in the region. With a strong presence in 23 countries and employing 350 people, Intercoil International is committed to increasing its regional presence and expanding its production capacity. Intercoil’s brand promise is to increase awareness about the importance of a healthy sleep and to proudly promote the “Made in UAE” mark. The first in its industry to achieve the ISO9001:2000, ISO14001, and OHSAS18001 quality management certificates, Intercoil is currently ranked fourth in the Dubai SME 100 and has been awarded the Dubai CSR label for the last three consecutive years. Holding the Dubai Quality Appreciation Certificate, Intercoil International produces its own range of foam, mattresses and furniture products and is the exclusive licensee of Therapedic for the GCC and Simmons for the Middle East. In November 2013, Intercoil has been honored with the prestigious Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award, for exceptional business performance.


KSA Sleeping Habits Research
Executive Summary

  • Overall, six in ten respondents (59%) rate their current sleeping pattern as “good” or “very good” (a fourth rate it as “very poor”)
    • Sleeping pattern is rated significantly better by Saudi respondents (62%) and the youngest age group, 18-24 (67%)
  • Over a third of the sample (39%) claim to be sleeping either a little or much better than a year ago (though there has been no change in sleep quality for just under a third of the sample)
    • Current sleep has improved significantly more for the younger age group (18-24)
    • Significantly more men and residents from Jeddah and the Eastern Province rate their current sleep pattern as being the same, or about the same, as a year ago
  • On average, respondents claim to sleep 6.7 hours during weekdays and 7.7 hours during weekends
    • During both weekdays and weekends, respondents from the two younger age groups (18-24 and 25-34) sleep on average significantly longer hours than older respondents (35+)
    • On average, Arab Expats claim to sleep significantly longer during weekends than Saudi respondents (8.2 vs. 7.4 hours)
    • Within the sample, Riyadh respondents, on average, appear to sleep significantly longer hours than respondents from other cities, both during the week (7 vs. 6.4 hours) and on weekends (8 vs. 7.3 hours). The highest percentage of 9+ hours of sleep can also be found among these respondents
    • Both younger age groups (18-24 and 25-34) and Arab Expats wish to sleep significantly longer hours than their counterparts during the week
  • A “restful, rejuvenating and revitalizing sleep” best describes a good night sleep for two-fifths (39%) of the sample, ahead of a “deep, long and continuous sleep” (21%) and a “sleep without disturbance” (19%)
    • Only 6 respondents spontaneously mentioned the importance of a mattress in a good night’s sleep
  • One in three (32%) admits to “always” or “often” have trouble sleeping at night (with 43% reporting “occasionally” and 26% “rarely” or “never the case”)
    • Eighty-two percent of respondents who “always” or “often” have trouble sleeping claim that they “wish they could sleep better at night”
    • Significantly more women and respondents living in other cities (other than Jeddah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province) experience trouble sleeping at night
    • The main causes of sleeping problems stated by respondents are the “habit of over-thinking things”, followed by “worries in life”
    • Respondents experiencing sleep problems try to address the problem by:
      • Praying or listening to prayer (19%)
      • Trying to sleep (7%)
      • Taking sleeping pills (6%)
      • Not thinking of anything other than sleep (6%)
  • The main factors influencing the quality of sleep, according to respondents, are as follows:
    • Daily life worries (80%)
      • Significantly more prevalent amongst Arab Expats and those who have trouble sleeping at night
    • Stress (77%)
      • Significantly more prevalent amongst Arab Expats
    • Bedroom temperature (73%)
      • Significantly more prevalent amongst residents from Jeddah
    • Noise (72%)
    • Mattress quality (67%)
      • Significantly more prevalent amongst Arab Expats
    • Those who experience trouble sleeping also mentioned that late night dinners affect sleep quality
  • The definition of an ideal night’s sleep given by respondents who experience no, or hardly any, trouble sleeping is “peace of body and mind” (27%), “lack of noise” (16%), “comfortable room and atmosphere” (12%) and “scheduled sleeping times” (11%)
  • Majority of respondents (80%) believe that a healthy sleep leads to a healthy life
    • Significantly more so for Arab Expats (86%)
  • Many also believe that the quality of the mattress has an impact on the quality of sleep (68%) and that the mattress is actually the most important item in the bedroom (65%)
    • Significantly more respondents aged 25-34 agree that the mattress is the most important item in the bedroom
  • Nearly three in four respondents (72%) wish they could sleep better at night
    • Not surprisingly, incidence is significantly higher (82%) among respondents who “always” or “often” have trouble sleeping, as opposed to those who “rarely” or “never” do (55%)
    • Respondents who experience trouble sleeping are significantly more likely to “easily worry about life”, “to have a lot of stress in their life”, “to be a smoker”, but also “to regularly go for check-ups” and “take care of their life”
  • Over two-third of respondents (71%) agree that lack of sleep is affecting their day
    • This is more the case among respondents experiencing sleeping trouble, however not significantly so
      • Respondents with sleeping problems, however, are significantly more likely to become confused because of lack of sleep, to do poor work and to have accidents or near-accidents as a result of it
  • Over a third of the sample (36%) claim to have researched sleeping issues; online platforms like health sites (63%) and internet search engines (62%) prove to be their main sources for information
    • Significantly more women have looked for such information
    • Respondents who have not done research would revert to the same sources should the need arise
  • Only 1 in 10 respondents has sought medical advice for sleeping issues, predominantly from psychologists (44%) and GPs (36%)
  • Of those who visited a healthcare specialist, more than half (56%, hence just over 5% of the total sample) were diagnosed with a sleeping disorder, either by psychologists (46%) or GPs (29%)
  • Just over one-fifths of the sample (22%) resorted to sleeping aid. Two-thirds (65%) purchased the medication over-the-counter and a quarter (28%) used a doctor’s prescription
    • Over one in four (28%) of those who “always” or “often” have trouble sleeping at night have bought sleeping aid
    • In the sample, medicines prescribed by doctors were taken significantly more by men (37%) than women (20%)
  • Only 1 in 10 respondents were advised to change their mattress by healthcare specialists, with more than half of those being GPs (54%)
  • For more than 4 in 10 respondents (42%) mattresses should be replaced once a year (and for 20% every 2 years)
    • Significantly higher amongst those living in Riyadh (48%) and other cities (other than Riyadh, Jeddah and the Eastern Province) (52%)
  • Comfort (94%) and high quality (84%) are the main attributes considered when choosing a mattress, followed by price, though to a lesser extent (66%). Guarantee only plays a role for one-fourth of the sample (24%)

Notes to Editors:

The survey was conducted by YouGov through online interviews, in August 2014, using YouGov’s proprietary panels. A sample of 519 respondents was interviewed to represent the KSA demographic profile in terms of gender, age and nationality.