Guille has parents who always, always, remind him how important the dream is. Each night they demand that he go to bed early so that he can then return the next day and not have to get up at eight o’clock to be punctual in class at nine.

The theory is known to all three, but then it turns out that Guille, 13, leaves class and has extracurricular activities: first English, then homework and, finally, comes home at eight after basketball training. About that time his parents also arrive and it is the turn of the dinner, the shower and the bed; But there Guille is not sleepy and picks up the cellphone, so it becomes even more revealing and this turns into a vicious circle.

What is the problem? It is not THE problem, but THE problems. Joaquín Terán-Santos, president of the Spanish Society of Sleep (SES) explains that it is not advisable to do sport late because it raises the temperature of the body and the brain needs to lower it to sleep; That the blue light of the mobile reduces the production of melatonin, hormone that regulates the dream; And that it is not good to lie down right after dinner , because the body is working. Not to mention that parents should set an example and follow a more appropriate schedule …

Sleep time is something we always relegate behind work, business and leisure.Joaquín Terán-Santos, president of the Spanish Society of Sleep

This is just one example of the thousands that could occur in our society, where 45% of the world population suffers at some point in their life problems related to sleep and where sleep is undervalued from almost all areas , whether political , Economic, social, labor or personal.

On the occasion of World Dream Day , which is celebrated on March 17, experts claim more attention to this imperative biological process “and often so despised, ” according to Terán. “We are aware of the effects of tobacco and alcohol, the importance of sport and a balanced diet, but sleep time is something we always relegate behind work, business and leisure,” he says. Perhaps people are not aware that, as the doctor explains, sleep deprivation “has strong impacts on health, both neurocognitive – in attention, memory, productive capacity – and cardiometabolic – obesity, diabetes, hypertension” .


Terán describes sleep as a multidisciplinary subject, involving biological, genetic, neurological and psychiatric factors, among others. For example, each person should know their chronotype, according to the somnologist Paula Giménez Rodríguez. Basically, chronotype divides people into larks – if you yield much more in the morning on both the psychic and physical levels – and owls – if, on the other hand, you tend to be more active in the evening. From there the ideal would be to organize a routine on that basis, but, as Terán suggests, it would still be more ideal for entrepreneurs to take this into account when selecting staff.

The specialists themselves acknowledge that there is no fixed universal amount of sleep – although it is usually at seven or eight hours a day – and that much remains to be discovered about sleep, but there are several points that are very clear and that no one should ignore:

  1. As we grow older, our biological clock ages and advances. That is why children need more sleep than adults, and these more than the elderly, in general.
  2. Athletes need to sleep more than the rest. With lack of sleep increases the risk of suffering injuries, as it loses ability to react and control the posture.

He dies earlier because of lack of sleep than food. Francesc Segarra, coordinator of World Dream Day in Spain

  1. Gender-based discrimination also affects the realm of sleep. As a rule, women lose more hours of sleep with the arrival of a newborn (and their partner’s snoring). In addition, specialists point out that women tend not to express their symptoms and to resort more to antidepressants for disorders that are actually associated with sleep, not depression. Finally, as a curiosity, Dr. Joaquín Terán-Santos says that women usually go alone to sleep consultations, while men are always accompanied by their wives.
  2. A society that claims to be healthy should place the dream among its priorities. Francesc Segarra, coordinator of World Dream Day in Spain, equates sleep to food, and even points out that he dies earlier because of lack of sleep than food. “Sleeping less than five hours, the mortality rate of people increases by 12%,” he says.
  3. Is it possible to recover lost hours of sleep? There are people who say yes. However, headlining behind the steering wheelor some of the clashes resulting from it may be irreversible.

In Spain, the right to sleep is not respected, neither in the service areas, nor in nursing homes, nor in hospitals.Joaquín Terán-Santos, president of the Spanish Society of Sleep

  1. The siesta is recommended only if done well. According to experts, it should not exceed45 minutes nor should it be a compensatory mechanism for lack of night sleep. “It’s not worth sleeping four hours at night and then taking a nap of three,” stresses Dr. Paula Jimenez.
  2. Lack of sleep is linked to obesity. When we alter the sleep rhythm, the brain tends to select hypercaloric products, thus contributing to the increase of one of the worst epidemics of the time: being overweight. In addition, sleep disorders are associated with the development of tumor processes; For example, it has been discovered that nurses, who often work in shifts, are more likely to have breast cancer.

Eight hours of fragmented sleep are less healing than six hours of sleep. This was revealed by a study from Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore (Maryland, USA) in which two groups had to follow a different pattern of sleep. The group that slept for less hours, but uninterrupted, said they felt more rested throughout the investigation.

  1. The winter time in Spain is the most appropriate for the body. According to the chronobiologists of the Spanish Society of Sleep, the body is better adapted to the hours of light it receives during the autumn-winter time (between October and March), whenSpain is in the UTC +1 zone. However, the president of the SES prefers to move away from the controversy of the time zones and asks directly “to make the schedules so that we ensure at least seven hours of sleep.”
  2. Scientists now have more information about sleep than ever before. Unfortunately, this does not yet translate into the population, politicians or institutions. “The right to sleep is not respected, nor in the areas of road service, which are not enabled for the rest of the drivers, nor in nursing homes, where instead of taking them out in the light of day they give them a pill , Nor in hospitals, where you measure the temperature at five o’clock in the morning, whether you need it or not, “Terán said. “The model does not work,” he said.


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