Sleep experts believe that people in Spain sleep poorly and poorly and that it is preferable to take pills rather than change certain habits; one of the most sought after solutions melatonin Although it has no associated side effects, it makes it a useless drug if taken poorly and left untouched. “Whatever percentage you have, we recommend that you have a doctor behind you to decide how to take melatonin, melatonin in essence is neither good nor bad, but it’s useless if specified incorrectly,” he states. . without an Oscarresponsibility for something Sleep Disorder Unit From the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital in Barcelona.
“one becomes excessive melatonin consumption “We know what won’t hurt us,” says Odile Romero, coordinator of the Multidisciplinary Sleep Unit at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital. people take all kinds of melatonin.”
melatonin a natural hormone secreted by the pineal gland, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle of the brain; It can be administered exogenously in two ways, one as immediate-release supplements not exceeding 1.9 mg. There are many over-the-counter products on the market that are based on different substances, helping to relax and sleep; Bestsellers, according to data from consulting firm Iqvia a doxylamine drug, followed by two supplements containing melatonin. One of them nearly tripled its sales in 2021, and so far in 2022 it has increased by 18% from the previous year.
Sales of such products have steadily increased in recent years, rising from 11.1 million in 2020 to 11.7 million (6% more) in 2021 and from there to 12.1 million (3% more) in 2022. Starting with 2 mg of melatonin, these are delayed-release drugs; Although it does not require a prescription – national health system (SNS)- and children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and persons over 55 years of age with reduced endogenous secretion. Rapid-release melatonin can advance the sleep-onset stage in those who are delayed, alleviating jet lag or work shifts, Romero explains. However, it should always be done under medical supervision because what works well for one person may not be good for another.
Lately, Spanish Sleep Society (SOUND); The Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP), the Spanish Association of Outpatient Pediatrics and Primary Care (SEPEAP), the Spanish Association of Primary Care Pediatrics (AEPap), and the Spanish Association of Pediatric Neurology (SENEP), “use and abuse of melatonin preparations in the pediatric population”. “Often, given the difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep in children, they are given melatonin without consulting their healthcare provider first,” says Sans, coordinator of the study group. And melatonin “may not have an effect when it’s wrong, in the wrong dose, and not enough,” and even though the health problems aren’t so significant, in the end, “what we’re going to do is give it to our son without melatonin to give it to him.” The situation for children with ASD or ADHD is different, children who do not obey their “parents’ whims” despite facing the high costs of drugs, so these societies have demanded that it be funded by the public system.
What symptoms do they need to be aware of to know if their child is really having trouble sleeping? For example, if you went to bed at a convenient time or when you wake up at night, it takes more than an hour to fall asleep. Also, daytime symptoms such as irritability or bad mood on waking, low energy levels during the day, or waking up late on weekends, even after going to bed at the same time the night before. Sans thinks that Spanish children, especially adolescents with whom the “perfect storm” converges because they’re the last, are getting far less sleep than they should—even though they’ve noticed a peak in the pandemic quarantine. to sleep but first to start classes. Added to this is the abuse of technology and screens, the light of which inhibits internal melatonin secretion and further delays the onset of biologically already delayed sleep.
All this applies to adults: According to the SES, between 20% and 48% of the population experience sleep problems at some point, and this translates to chronic insomnia – lasting more than 3 months – in about 4.7 million citizens in 10%. . “We Spaniards don’t place enough value on sleep: we started doing it by doing physical exercise and living a healthy life, but we don’t place too much emphasis on sleeping well.” Romero, a member of SES’ insomnia working group, argues that it’s very common to get up early.
Changing some habits improve sleep qualityAnd they don’t have to be radical, they have to be more about establishing good routines. The initial treatment for insomnia is conceptual cognitive therapy, but “you need active and adaptive patient involvement”; however, they are often “not willing to follow through because it is easier to take a pill that also produces a more pleasant anxiolytic effect, so they receive far more medical treatment than necessary.” According to the information provided by Iqvia, sales of tranquilizers increased by 4% from 59.2 million to 61.4 million between 2020-2022. The three leading drugs in this period belong to the group of benzodiazepines.
A few weeks ago, the PSOE brought this issue to Congress through an NLP, which encouraged the Government to “analyze the educational needs of health science professionals related to sleep disorders and propose solutions to them, and to develop the educational content necessary to provide prevention and comprehensive coverage”. , multidisciplinary and personalized attention to this health issue”. “We have more and more evidence that sleeping less than five hours can increase the risk of disease in the medium and long term, and yet we voluntarily sacrifice hours of sleep” because in addition to the late hours “he hardly sleeps” in our culture, complains the clinical neurophysiologist. agrees: “It’s a public health issue.” “Sleep is still seen as a waste of time. There’s still a long way to go,” he censors.
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