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March 2023, Volume 73, Issue 3

Student's Corner

Sleep patterns and quality in Pakistani adults: A Letter to the Editor

Muhammad Taha Abid  ( 2nd Year MBBS Student, Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan. )
Mudassir Abbas  ( 2nd Year MBBS Student, Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan. )
Syed Hamza Haider  ( 2nd Year MBBS Student, Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan )

DOI: 10.47391/JPMA.7702


The thought-provoking article by Al-Abri et al. set an example of a sleep pattern’s effect on the overall health of a population1. The study perfectly encapsulated the diversity of sleep patterns amongst people and the direct effects of sleep quality and patterns on the participants’ well-being.

Sleep is a naturally recurring physiological state where the body reduces its awareness of environmental triggers and processes internal stimuli. Adequate sleep is a corporal necessity, where a lack of sleep and undetected sleep ailments prove inimical to healthiness and public safety2. Furthermore, a sufficient sleep period isn’t the only prerequisite for healthy sleep. Good sleep quality, proper timing, periodicity, and no presence of sleep disturbances are equally momentous3.

Low-quality sleep can weaken the immune system, causing various diseases and affecting neurocognition. Short sleep and unhealthy sleeping practices are also linked with cardiometabolic diseases such as hypertension. Short and long sleep habits can only be assessed by monitoring participants' sleep patterns4.

Understandably, the vitality of conducting a similar study in Pakistan can be estimated.

Although there have been a few studies depicting the quality of sleep amongst the junior (house) medical officers in Pakistan and correlating sleep disorders among the general population, none have been identified that measure sleep quality regarding patterns and their direct effect on the participants’ health and wellbeing.

Considering Pakistan is a Muslim-majority nation, with 96.2% of Muslims making up the total population5, such studies should be highly regarded on account of the unique habituations and sleep schedules amongst Muslim countries (owning to five daily obligatory prayers)1 as the sleep patterns highlighted in Al-Abri et al.’s study will be more pronounced and better measured. The dire need for such studies in Pakistan stems from the fact that 79.28% of the general educational community had a sleep disturbance6.

Therefore, it is recommended that researchers go for a general survey via a cross-sectional study to gather essential statistics for further evaluating risk factors due to such sleeping habits.

Said study conducted in Pakistan, in line with the methodology and approach used by Al-Abri et al., will open gateways to gathering a cohort about the role of sleep patterns and quality in producing cardiometabolic, neurological, and other health risks in the country. Such an evaluation is valuable in a country with an almost 17.5% general prevalence of cardiovascular diseases7. The results can be compartmentalized into those caused by disturbances in sleep quality and patterns.


Keywords: Sleep, sleep pattern, sleep quality, short-sleep, Pakistan, Pakistani adults, epidemiology.


Submission completion date: 21-08-2022


Acceptance date: 05-11-2022


Disclaimer: None to declare.


Conflict of Interest: None to declare.


Funding Sources: None to declare.




1.      Al-Abri MA, Al Lawati I, Zadjali F, Ganguly S. Sleep Patterns and Quality in Omani Adults. Nat Sci Sleep. 2020; 12:231-7.

2.      Ramar K, Malhotra RK, Carden KA, Martin JL, Abbasi-Feinberg F, Aurora RN, et al. Sleep is essential to health: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine position statement. J Clin Sleep Med. 2021; 17:2115-9. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.9476.

3.      Kohyama J. Which Is More Important for Health: Sleep Quantity or Sleep Quality? Children (Basel). 2021; 8:542.

4.      Itani O, Jike M, Watanabe N, Kaneita Y. Short sleep duration and health outcomes: a systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression. Sleep Med. 2017; 32:246-56. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2016.08.006.

5.      Fuchs MM, Fuchs SW. Religious Minorities in Pakistan: Identities, Citizenship and Social Belonging. South Asia: J South Asian Stud. 2020; 43:52-67.

6.      Umar A, Khan MS, Sehgal SA, Jafar K, Ahmad S, Waheed A, et al. Epidemiological studies of sleep disorder in educational community of Pakistani population, its major risk factors and associated diseases. PLoS One.2022; 17:e0266739.

7.      Zubair F, Nawaz SK, Nawaz A, Nangyal H, Amjad N, Khan MS. Prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in Punjab, Pakistan: a crosssectional study. J Public Health. 2018; 26:523-9.

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association has agreed to receive and publish manuscripts in accordance with the principles of the following committees: