Sleep medicine: Spain advances research with consolidated hospital structure

Carlos Javier Egea Santaola, President of Fesmes.

“What is life? An illusion, a shadow, a fiction, and the greatest good is the little: that all life is a dream, and dreams are dreams.” Calderón de la Barca was not mistaken when he wrote the most memorable phrases of this work. “Life is a dream” may be the leitmotif of the sleep medicine specialists involved Fesmes, Spanish Federation of Sleep Medicine Societies. A literal take on that idea, of course.

For your president, Carlos Javier Egea Santaolala, The implications of sleep for healthy living are numerous. “Sleep can be a pillar of health not as a disease but for improvement overall health“, he points out. Something that can make not only patients and citizens have more years of quality life, but also age in good health.

A question that is not unimportant and that has already happened in a political current. Egea recalls that there are parliamentary initiatives forward in prime time. “All citizens are starting to come together so that they know that sleep is a part of their lives, just like eating or sports. If we do it right, it can bring great benefits.

The investigation

Fortunately, research in this area has advanced tremendously. Sleep medicine, he asserts, has an important impact on pulmonology because of apneas. In addition, other disorders have been discovered in recent years in various disciplines. Until recently, Egea explains, “sleep medicine was thought of as medicine esoteric“. From snoring or not, to good or bad sleep… So far, the main ailments. A mid 20th century Then this field of knowledge begins to develop, which includes more and more specialties.

As the pulmonologist pointed out, one of the main areas where research is advancing the most is that of Sleep apnea. Guess Future cerebrovascular, cardiovascular and morbidity consequences is one of the main goals. Furthermore, “with regard to sleep, the priority is to better understand sleep and its disorders and reduce their spectrum.”

insomnia and mental health

At the moment, one of the current sores is insomnia. Most alarmingly, this problem is linked to mental illness in about 50 percent of cases. As the expert points out, cut back prevalence and frequency so that the impact on mental health is as low as possible is a priority.

Other disciplines such as neurology, neurophysiology, dentistry, with the creation of apnea improvement devices, ENT or pediatrics are part of this field of knowledge. These are precisely the scientific societies that make up Fesmes, which, as its president points out, is “a place where societies, although mature and sovereign, have a meeting place”.

Companies that make up FESMES.

The hospital organization

Aware of the importance of this specialty, c currently all hospitals and provinces have sleeping wards which are dedicated to this medicine. In some, the expert specifies, they are tendentious in areas; respiratory, neurophysiology, neurology, ENT, pediatrics… But in general, in the last 12 years efforts have been made to accredit multidisciplinary units. These are areas that are not biased but share the same common space and even in some the same physical space. The goal is that when the patient arrives, he or she will be treated multidisciplinary, not on a referral basis. “The device goes into the patient’s route, and that route is processed within a dedicated sleep route with the different specialists,” he says.

There are approx 60 highly sophisticated units in Spain. In fact, as confirmed by Egea, Spain in terms of structure is one of the best structured countries.

In turn, in terms of training, Fesmes has been accrediting professionals for years. Similarly, he explains, in research, after the United States, Grupo Español de Sueño is the most relevant in international research and publications in the world.

A reward for persistence

Precisely and in recognition of the persistence during all these years, the Best in Class (BiC) Awards in its 2022 edition will recognize the best sleep unit. This award is in collaboration with Fesme and Philips. “The award is a reward for the persistence of all those who have been dealing with sleep medicine for years, because it can help patients and citizens”, he assured.

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