Sleep is an important part of our development and our health. It is estimated that 30% of our life is spent sleeping (7-8 hours a day), which is important for restoring many physiological systems in the body. When we sleep soundly, a whole exchange of energy takes place, a re-engineering where dead cells throughout the body are replaced and restored with new ones. Those who manage to achieve a good level of deep sleep do better at this cell replacement.
However, “good sleep” can be interrupted by different factors. “Sleep disorders accompany human beings from birth until they grow old,” says Patricio Abad, neurologist at Metropolitano Hospital and coordinator of the Neurophysiology Unit.
The specialist indicates that among the many factors that can interrupt sleep, there are three that are the most common. For example, insomnia, which results in difficulty falling asleep. “People can’t sleep, tossing and turning in bed, distracted by thoughts, insomnia is a common sleep disorder,” he says.
Another disorder is one in which the person cannot sleep through the night. It is fragmented by the presence of obstructive sleep apnea, snoring or breathing difficulties. There is also “restless legs syndrome”, where the patient suffers from restlessness in his lower extremities, feels tingling and is forced to get up and move his legs, unable to fall asleep.
How to recognize the problem?
Abad explains that the patient is asked, “In a week, how many nights do you sleep well?” If this disorder occupies 50% or more of sleep time, it is a warning sign incompatible with a good quality of life.
“The patient reports signs of daytime sleepiness, that is, he falls asleep under all circumstances; decreases your attention span and concentration; their character changes easily and they become very irascible; becomes easily depressed; has a lot of headaches and backaches during the day; factors that are assessed using specialized scales.
At the Metropolitano Hospital there is this specialized unit, made up of a multidisciplinary team capable of carrying out a complete analysis of the pathologies, comorbidities or associated diseases of the patient, to identify the sleep disorder through specialized studies and modern equipment .
“Sleep disorders accompany human beings from birth to age, so it is important to go see a specialist, who will help you improve your sleep and your quality of life,” he concludes.