Sleep Awareness Campaign
Under the auspices of the Saudi Society of Internal Medicine, on Friday November 1st, 2013, the two week Sleep Awareness Campaign was launched by the Sleep Medicine & Research Center (SMRC) of King Abdulaziz University Hospital in Jeddah. It was held at a number of major shopping malls in the city of Jeddah. It served as a means to educate the public about the importance of proper sleep, the most common types of sleep disorders, their impact on wellbeing, and how they are diagnosed and treated.
This is the first campaign of its kind in the country of Saudi Arabia. The primary focus was to distribute leaflets and offer free on-the-spot medical counseling, in addition to displaying educational videos about sleep disorders. This also provided a great opportunity for both high school as well as university students and healthcare staff to volunteer alongside each other.
Educating the largest possible number of people and allowing them to realize the prevalence of sleep disorders and their tremendous impact on our community, were of the leading objectives. In light of this, it is worth noting here that in this part of the world, Sleep Apnea is not considered to be an impediment to health. While studies have shown that as much as 37% of people in developed countries suffer from sleep deprivation due to chronic insomnia, circadian rhythm disorders, and other reasons. Moreover, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) afflicts 6-8% of individuals and affects twice as many men as women. Among its risk factors are obesity, elevated blood pressure, and smoking.
It is also worth mentioning that the Sleep Medicine and Research Center (SMRC), that had organized the campaign, is a center that is specialized in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders. Its grand opening took place in the month of May, 2011, which was met with a robust response, leading to a need of further expanding it in April, 2013. Currently, it accommodates a total of four rooms that are fully equipped with the latest diagnostic equipment in the field of sleep medicine. Being situated at King Abdul-Aziz University Hospital, the center has the important advantage of ease-of-access to the hospital’s diverse resources and facilities, therefore ensuring a comprehensive care at a superb level of quality.
In addition to its diagnostic and therapeutic services, the center also aims to increase health awareness regarding sleep disorders in the community through organizing forums and educational events in order to give rise to well-trained healthcare staff capable of better addressing sleep disorders as well as keeping up with the sleep centers around the globe, to further enhance serving our community.