It’s World Sleep Day (March 15 ) and the organizers are encouraging people everywhere to open their eyes to the health issues associated with sleep. In Romania, the health sector is marking the day by opening the doors of the country’s sleep labs to the public. The first World Sleep Day was in 2008 and according to the organizers, the event has grown continuously since then.
Although the event seeks to celebrate sleep, its message is largely more serious. The organizers detail a number of sleep associated conditions and describe bad sleep as a global epidemic. This year’s slogan is “good sleep, healthy aging;” putting an emphasis on sleep related conditions that affect the elderly.
The President of the Romanian Society of Pneumology, Professor Florin Mihălțan, is keen to see the study and treatment of sleep as a recognized specialism in the Romanian medical world. Speaking to RTV, he said understanding sleep pathology can save lives when serious conditions are involved, as well as helping people return to normal professional and social lives.
Professor Mihălțan said Romania is advancing steadily in the field of sleep therapies, saying he expects annual growth in the number of sleep labs in the country to be around 10 – 15 percent. He added that there is growing interest among Romania’s medical community in sleep related conditions and their treatment.
Statistics quoted by RTV suggest that around a million adults in Romania suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a serious condition whereby breathing is stopped during sleep. It causes daytime sleepiness and fatigue, and could lead to conditions such as hypertension, ischemic heart disease, stroke and diabetes, according to the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM).
World Sleep Day is organized annually by WASM. The association uses the event to get across its key messages, which include recognizing that sleepiness and sleeplessness combine in a global epidemic that threatens health and quality of life. But, according to WASM, much can be done to treat the conditions, if there is more professional and public awareness.
Find out more on the World Sleep Day website.
photo source: sxc.hu