Sleep, essential to live longer and better

Sleeping little and poorly at an early age will determine health for the rest of life, according to experts, who consider it necessary for citizens to become aware that sleep is fundamental to living longer and better.On the occasion of the celebration of World Sleep Day on March 18, various organizations warn of the health problems that little sleep entails and emphasize children and the elderly.

The Spanish Society of Neurology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR), together with the Spanish Sleep Society (SES) and the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP) ensure that the majority of Spanish children who suffer from sleep disorders they are undiagnosed.

Obesity, hypertension and attention deficit, related to sleep

  • Obesity, hypertension, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, irritability or school failure are some examples of the repercussions of sleeping disorders in children and poor sleeping habits, according to these associations.
  • “It is necessary to make the population aware that sleep is essential for quality of life and also for the quantity of life,” says the president of the SES, Diego Garcia, in a statement.
  • Garcia stresses that a growing number of studies show that poor sleep quality determines our health from an early age and increases the risk of suffering from certain diseases in the future.
  • In this sense, Dr. Teresa Caned, from the SES, also points out that sleep is very important during the first years of life and during puberty, since sleep plays a very important role in brain maturation.

    Sleep is essential for brain maturation

  • For its part, the Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology (SEGG) states that 32% of people over the age of 65 have sleep disorders and poor sleep can cause complications such as hypertension, depression or cardiovascular diseases.
  • 37% of the elderly have trouble falling asleep, 29% wake up during the night and up to 19% complain of waking up early.
  • In this sense, the SEGG warns of the “false belief” that the increase in the prevalence of sleep disorders in this segment of the population is normal and expected as part of aging, with which, on many occasions, the elderly “are undertreated” and “ignored”.
  • Dr. Pedro González, from the SEGG, emphasizes that “elderly people do not sleep less, but rather sleep differently” and in them there are different circumstances that influence sleep such as life changes related to retirement, the greater incidence of problems of health and the greater use of medication.

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