Sleep problems among pupils in Benghazi, Libya.

Original article


Al-Sharbati MM.

Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Sultan Qaboos University, Al-Khoud, PO Box 35, Postal C. 123, Sultanate of Oman. Tel./Fax. +968 513488. E-mail:

Saudi Med J. 2002 Sep;23(9):1105-9.


OBJECTIVE: To find the prevalence of sleep problems among pupils, its possible causes and associated behaviors. METHODS: This study was carried out during 3-24 February 1996. We randomly selected a sample of (277) 5th graders (181 boys and 96 girls), from 3 public primary schools in 3 different socio-economic areas in Benghazi, Libya. We interviewed the pupils and the teachers by a pretested questionnaire concerning sleep, school achievement and other behaviors. Those pupils who sleep after 10:00 pm, or those having bad sleep characters, or both, twice or more a week in the last month, were considered suffering from sleep problems. According to their performance in the first semester in both Arabic and Mathematics, pupils were classified in to 3 groups (>70% in both the good group, 50-70% in both subjects or in one provided that the other was above 70% the average group, <50% in one or both subjects the poorly achieving group). RESULTS: This study shows high prevalence of sleep problems among pupils (28.9%), especially in a high-density area, with non-significant gender difference. Associated behaviors are bad school achievement, sleepiness and mood fluctuation. CONCLUSION: Parental ignorance, unawareness and bad child rearing and follow-up are evident, and considered to be the main cause of these problems, that needs intensive education towards better sleep hygiene. Keywords: Sleep problems among pupils in Benghazi, Libya. Link/DOI: