Sleep is fundamental for health and well-being, representing one-third of our life. However, most people are not aware of the importance of having good sleep habits, and only few sleep enough hours. This can result in severe consequences, not only short-term (irritability, poor memory, concentration problems, headaches, decreased immune defences) but also long-term, with increased predisposition to develop a series of diseases (cardiac, obesity, brain disorders, among others).
Yet, poor awareness about the relevance of a healthy sleep and depreciation of poor sleep as a problem, posit a huge barrier in the early identification, treatment and counteract/monitoring of disease-progression. In addition, there are considerable limitations in current sleep-disorders diagnostic methods that challenge their early diagnosis and treatment. If diagnosed on time, some sleep-related diseases could be overcome by behavioral changes, such as good sleep hygiene, weight loss and exercise, avoiding progression to severe stages and development of comorbidities associated with sleep diseases. Among the most prevalent sleep disorders worldwide are obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and insomnia.
Thus, the aim of this initiative is to increase people's awareness regarding the importance of sleep and the early diagnosis of sleep disorders, mainly OSA and insomnia, in order to counteract the associated high undiagnosed rates and burden. We propose to make a) an exhibition with drawings, b) a debate with sleep specialists, c) a theater play session and d) a documentary about sleep and Obstructive Sleep Apnea and other sleep disorders. This project will allow to alert the public about sleep disorders, the importance of sleep hygiene in health and quality of life, through an entertaining family experience. Ultimately, we aim to improve the sleep habits of Portuguese and PALOP families.