13 of March 2015 by the World Association of Sleep Medicine celebrated as the World Sleep Day. The purpose of this is to raise the problems related to sleep and to attract the attention of the public and professionals on the importance of this physiological process. Every year the events are held in this area under the specific slogan. This year it is: "The quality of the sleep is guarantees the health and happiness".
On the issue of sleep we had discussed with the chairman of the Armenian Association of Sleep Disorders, neurology and somnologist of MC Erebouni Samson Khachatryan.
– Mr. Khachatryan, let's talk about the main sleep disorders.
– World Sleep Day is celebrated since 2008 every second Friday of March. Every year we organize various events for this day. In somnology there are a lot of pathologies. Celebrating this day, we strive to attract much attention of specialists and patients to these issues. Everyone knows regarding the importance of sleep, but few are aware of the problems of sleep and rarely appeal to specialists. There is such a thing as sleep hygiene, and its in Armenia almost not adhere. There are many sleep problems, and they are quite common in Armenia. One such problem is insomnia that involves about 10-15% of the population. Chronic insomnia is quite a serious health and a social problem. In addition to insomnia, people often also complain of drowsiness. This year, Armenian Association of Sleep Disorders had decided to concentrate its attention particularly to the problem of severe daytime sleepiness.
– In case if people have health problem they feel discomfort or other unpleasant sensations. Other situation is when people have sleep disorders: it is very difficult to differentiate if people just like to sleep or they need to sleep at day time and it is a sleep disorder.
– You are right, but it should be noted that the drowsiness does not apply to people who like to sleep longer in the morning. Under sleepiness meant disturbances of hours and rhythm of sleep, when, after seven or eight hours of sleep a person in the daytime has an irresistible urge to sleep. Drowsiness is also a social phenomenon, because not only can be the result of sleep disorders, but also the cause for example traffic accidents.
– The slogan of this year - "The quality of the sleep is guarantees the health and happiness" What does "quality of the sleep" mean and how it is possible to improve it?
Sleep hygiene is the complex of attitudes that helps to avoid the risk of sleep disorders in everyday life. There are a few golden rules. The World Association of Sleep Medicine has introduced ten rules of behavior, to avoid the sleep disorders. It is important, for example, to comply with the normal sleep and not to violate it. It should be avoided the use of tonics, such as caffeine at bedtime that is in the coffee, tea and other beverages, chocolate, cakes, etc. The same applies to nicotine. It is not good the use of alcohol too.
– Sleep disorders are also associated with psychological problems such as stress, anxiety. To solve these issues it is necessary also the work of psychologists.
– Of course, the psychological aspect plays an important role mainly in case of insomnia. In this case, not only medication, but also various psychological methods are applied. These two components of the treatment in combination give better result. That is why in the slogan emphasizes that sleep is the key to health and happiness, because the presence of insomnia makes people unhappy.
– It turns out that the quality wakefulness promotes good sleep and vice versa, a good sleep promotes quality of wakefulness.
– Yes, these two states are interconnected and are similar to the well-known story about the "chicken and egg".
– Are there any indicators of quality of the sleep? For example, dreams or vice versa.
– The main criteria is the feeling of the person after waking, that is, whether he felt the satisfaction of a sleep or not. This refers to both physical health and psychological feelings. There are cases where people slept fine, but after waking up feeling tired like after the hard work. Study may show that there are, for example, respiratory problems of sleeping.
– You have a very interesting specialty - a somnologist. It is interesting - how sleep a somnologist?
– You asked a very good question. Very often, we talk about the problems of other people and forget about our own. Sometimes we are not dealing well with our own problems. Many people thinks that one-third of their lives pass when they are asleep and it is wasted time. However, it is not. Better one-third of their lives to spend on a good sleep that the remaining two-thirds life to spend efficiently.
– There are stories about how people like, for example, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci did not sleep at night and work on their masterpiece. Is this possible?
– Do not take the example of such cases, and have health problems. Firstly, these people might suffer from insomnia; secondly, many studies show a direct relationship between the effective working of the brain and the quality of sleep. On this background, these stories sound unrealistic.