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The “Dreams Project

Sleep disorders have become one of the most frequent pathologies, affecting up to 30% of the Spanish population. The most common problems suffered by patients are chronic lack of sleep, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome or restless legs syndrome, etc… These disorders can have negative consequences on quality of life, influencing work performance, causing traffic accidents due to drowsiness, and even leading to an increase in cardiovascular risk and the onset of diabetes.

“The frequency of sleep disorders in the general population and their often unidentified consequences mean that we can speak in general of sleep disorders as a public health problem in developed societies and, increasingly, in developing countries,” says Dr. Francisco Javier Puertas, president of the Spanish Sleep Society (SES).

This type of pathology and its consequences have been the subject of a series of studies, which were presented yesterday in Madrid, on the occasion of the presentation of the 2008 Dream Awards. This is a non-profit social initiative, promoted by Hospes Hotels & Moments, in collaboration with the Spanish Sleep Society (SES) and Aldeas Infantiles SOS; through which they try to extol the human and scientific values related to sleep.

The “Dreams Project” has two facets: revitalizing and vitalizing. Through the first one, the aim is to promote all those studies related to sleep habits, awarding prizes to the three best scientific papers at international level. The jury in charge of evaluating these projects is made up of sleep medicine professionals, including Dr. Francisco Javier Puertas, President of the Spanish Sleep Society (SES) and Dr. Eduard Estivill, Director of the Estivill Sleep Clinic at the USP Institut Universitari Dexeus in Barcelona and Coordinator of the Sleep Unit at the Hospital General de Catalunya, among others.

For Antonio Pérez Navarro, CEO of Hospes Hotels & Moments, the research work presented for the Sueños Award “represents the necessary recognition of all those professionals who work every day to improve the rest and quality of life of the world’s population”.

Good sleeping habits acquired during childhood will be of vital importance to enjoy a healthy life in adulthood, since many health problems can be triggered by sleep disorders. This is precisely the main theme addressed in the winning entries.

Firstly, the study of the association between sleep duration patterns and cognitive and behavioral functioning at the beginning of school has corroborated that for the proper development of the child it is essential to establish a long and well-structured sleep, especially in the case of children under 3 and 4 years of age.

Along the same lines, the second study shows that iron deficiency anemia during infancy is associated with an alteration in the duration of the different phases of sleep in children. The relevance of this study lies mainly in the fact that maturation and restoration processes occur during the sleep stage, which may be altered in children with iron deficiency.

Finally, experts have studied the metabolic alterations and systemic inflammation in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome among obese and non-obese children during their prepubertal stage.

Sleep disorders affect 30 percent of children under five years of age The most frequent pathology is childhood insomnia due to incorrect habits, according to a specialist participating in the SEPEAP Congress.

Sleep disorders affect 30 percent of children from infancy to five years of age, according to Dr. Eduard Estivill, author of the book “Sleep Child” and head of the Estivill Sleep Unit at the Dexeus University Institute in Barcelona. This specialist presented a paper on sleep disorders in primary care, during the National Congress of the Spanish Society of Outpatient Pediatrics and Primary Care (SEPEAP), held at the University of Alicante. According to Estivill, parents come to the office saying that the child has never slept well and that from the first day the nighttime awakenings have been very frequent. There are occasions when they stabilize, but they relapse, after an illness or change of habits. These children usually interrupt their sleep from five to 15 times and it is impossible for them to fall asleep again spontaneously and without help. Specialists recognize