Cómo dormir mejor para aumentar nuestra calidad de vida

 

Casi la mitad (45%) de la población mundial tiene problemas de sueño. Por ello, cada año, coincidiendo con el Día Mundial del Sueño, que se celebró el 17 de marzo, más de 72 países en todo el mundo participan en una llamada a la acción sobre la importancia de dormir bien y, así, tener una mejor calidad de vida.

El lema de este año es Dormir profundamente nutre la vida, porque un buen descanso es fundamental para conseguir rendimiento en cada jornada y para todos los aspectos de la salud.

Sin embargo, no se le da la relevancia que requiere. “Se puede morir antes por falta de sueño que por falta de comida, como consecuencia de todos los procesos biológicos que se originan durante el sueño. Además, no se puede vivir más de seis días durmiendo menos de cuatro horas”, explicaba al respecto Joaquín Terán-Santos, presidente de la Sociedad Española de Sueño (SES) en una rueda de prensa celebrada en la sede de la Organización Médica Colegial el pasado miércoles, con motivo de la presentación del documento Sueño saludable: evidencias y guías de actuación, elaborado por la SES.

Según datos proporcionados por los especialistas Francesc Segarra -coordinador del Día Mundial del Sueño- y Paula Giménez Rodríguez -autora del estudio Sueño y deporte, incluído en la guía mencionada- y el propio Terán-Santos, no dormir bien o tener una mala calidad de sueño repercute de forma negativa en nuestra salud. De hecho, algunos de los estudios publicados en los últimos años sobre la materia destacan la asociación entre la duración del sueño corto, los trastornos del sueño y la desincronización circadiana del sueño con rasgos metabólicos adversos como, por ejemplo, la obesidad. El sueño también puede ser la causa de la prevalencia de diversas enfermedades.

Por ejemplo, el ictus es más frecuente en aquellas personas que sufren apnea obstructiva del sueño (AOS) y la insuficiencia cardiaca predomina hasta un 12/16% en aquellos cuyo sueño no es bueno. Además, las personas que no pueden dormir bien durante toda la noche experimentan tasas más altas de presión arterial, diabetes, obesidad, la aparición de algunos tipos de tumores y otro tipo de enfermedades crónicas. A su vez, diversos estudios demuestran que “dormir menos de cuatro o cinco horas al día o dormir más de nueve o 10 horas al día en adultos aumenta un 12% el riesgo de mortalidad”.

Se estima que “entre un 20 y un 48% de la población adulta sufre, en algún momento, dificultad para iniciar o mantener el sueño y que, en al menos un 10% de estos casos, se debe a algún trastorno de sueño crónico y grave”, señala el doctor Carles Gaig Ventura, coordinador del Grupo de Estudio de Trastornos de la Vigilia y Sueño de la Sociedad Española de Neurología (SEN).

Existen alrededor de 100 patologías del sueño y las más frecuentes son el insomnio, con una prevalencia de entre el 20 y el 30%, el síndrome de las piernas inquietas, que afecta a un 5% de la población, y el síndrome de apneas-hipopneas del sueño (4-5%). La luz perjudica el sueñoSe calcula que el 30% de los españoles duerme menos de siete horas diarias por la noche. A ellos, sobre todo, se dirigen las campañas de recomendaciones que animan a mantener unos horarios regulares, a hacer ejercicio físico pero nunca a última hora del día, a no utilizar tabletas o móviles antes de irnos a dormir porque la luz perjudica el sueño, así como a llevar una dieta equilibrada. En cuanto a la siesta, es recomendable hacerla siempre y cuando se haga en el momento adecuado y con una duración idónea, pero “nunca para sustituir el sueño nocturno. Es decir, no sirve de nada dormir cuatro horas por la noche y tres por el día. El sueño perdido de por la noche no se recupera”, afirman los expertos. Otra de las medidas que sugieren estos especialistas es la necesidad de enseñar rutinas de sueño o medidas de higiene de sueño saludables a quien trabaja por turnos: “Son una necesidad social pero no biológica.

Por ello, es importante educar y hacer promoción de la salud a quienes trabajan con turnos. El tiempo para dormir también es tiempo de trabajo”.Asimismo, consideran importante que, desde los hospitales, se haga promoción de la salud en cuanto al sueño: “En España, no hay ningún hospital que preserve el derecho al sueño. Si te tienen que dar la pastilla a las cinco de la mañana, te despiertan y te la dan. No se respeta el sueño y, por tanto, tenemos aún mucho por hacer”, concluyen los expertos.


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