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). Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is estimated to be one of the most common sleep disorders, affecting around 1000 million individuals worldwide. OSA key risk factors include obesity and ageing, global epidemics, that continuously increase OSA prevalence. Still, 80-90% of OSA cases are undiagnosed. These cases result in several health, social and economic consequences that could be avoided if OSA would be diagnosed at a mild stage. As such, there is an urgent need to find strategies that allow an early detection of the disease, avoiding progress to more severe stages. In this context, it is critical to make society aware of the importance of early diagnosis of OSA, in order to avoid the development of associated diseases, in a perspective of health prevention, and its social and economic impact.
Thus, the aim of this proposed initiative is to increase people's awareness regarding the importance of sleep and the early diagnosis of sleep disorders, mainly OSA, in order to counteract the associated high undiagnosed rates and burden.
With this project we will produce a family board game aiming to target the general Portuguese population (children and adults). The topics that will be addressed on the game are mentioned in our recent paper (Gaspar et al, 2020) and include: a) what is sleep and why it is important; b) circadian rhythms and chronotypes; c) sleep homeostasis; sleep hygiene; and OSA and other sleep disorders.
Joaquim Moita - APS
Associação Portuguesa do Sono