Category Archives: Medicine

Sleep apnea, common in children under 5 years

The IMSS pulmonologist in Jalisco, Rubén Santoyo Ayala, said that sleep apnea, characterized by a temporary cessation of breathing while sleeping, is a disorder that also affects the pediatric population, primarily children between two and five years old.

He estimated that in Mexico up to 5% of infants present this problem associated with factors such as obesity, overweight and malformations or alterations of the oral cavity (uvula, palate or pharynx), as well as hypertrophy of the tonsils or even throat tumors.

Snoring is … normal?

Snoring is one of the characteristics of this disorder, so between 9% and 12% of children snore, and of these up to 10% suffer from sleep apnea.

In children, snoring and other manifestations may indicate the presence of the problem, such as irritability, hyperactivity, poor school use and bedwetting, cyanosis (enlargement of the lips or fingers), large tonsils and altered breathing patterns.

The specialist said that another fact is the so-called sleep latency. “If the child takes less than five minutes to sleep, this is latency and if he is overweight or obese, there is a great suspicion that it is apnea, it is normal for a [child] to fall asleep after five or 10 minutes of getting to bed, “he said.

In a child, apnea can have severe effects, such as tachycardia (excessive increase in heart rate), and / or bradycardia (decreased heart rate), high blood pressure, and even arrhythmias.

Diagnosis and treatment

To diagnose apnea in the child, the occurrence of a breathing interruption of between six and 10 seconds within one hour should be identified.

Sleep apnea is also common in children with Down Syndrome or Prader Willi Syndrome, in addition to those born with cleft lip and palate.

In many cases an option for the treatment of apnea in children is the removal of the tonsils, however in some patients there may be recurrence.

In the majority (up to 80%) of children, the problem is solved with the control and stabilization of body weight and with the use of the specialized instrument called CPAP (20% of patients).

CPAP consists of a mask that is used at bedtime and provides a more continuous flow of air, resulting in better and more oxygenated, which prevents episodes of apnea.

Sleep apnea in children is a cause of absenteeism and poor school performance, coupled with the fact that in newborns and in the stage of breastfeeding can lead to the so-called cradle death, since improper bedding contributes to obstruct the passage of air For the buco-nasal path.

What is the dream of the Yucatecans?

DG - Laboratorio del sueño

What is the dream of the Yucatecans?

The physiological and anatomical characteristics of the people of the region influence so that many do not rest correctly.

Physiological and anatomical characteristics, and even climatological factors, in some cases generate severe sleep problems for the Yucatecans, warned José Moo Estrella, an academic at the Faculty of Psychology of the Autonomous University of Yucatan

He pointed out that it also affects the fact that the bedroom becomes a work or play area; When turning on the television is not allowed to rest, because the site becomes zone conditioned to the activity and not to the relaxation.

“Many patients have been found to have sleep apnea, a diagnosis that stems from the fact that the person is overweight or obese,” said the head of the sleep laboratory of said faculty.

Moo Estrella explained that these structures of the brain are the same that regulate the emotions and the thought, and since they are not rested, the following day will not function properly.

Therefore, the person will easily become angry and will have little tolerance for frustration; In the medical aspect appear alterations as they are the hypertension and diabetes type II; Any other condition to which the patient is prone will be accentuated.

It should be noted that since November of last year the Laboratory of Sleep was activated, the only one of its kind in the southeast of the country.

In this laboratory three areas interact; One where the studies of polysomnography, the transcranial magnetic stimulation, are being carried out, in the research phase to work with patients with problems of depression and sleep disorders, and neuropsychology.

In this place have been attended 40 people by apnea and more than 50 by insomnia and other alterations, such as nightmares, enuresis and sleepwalking.

Watch out for the nap

  • Naps are also a factor for people having sleep problems or suffering from insomnia, experts say.
  • Sleeping a nap for more than 30 minutes involves covering the first cycles of sleep, so the person, when trying to sleep, can not because he already covered the time needed to achieve it.
  • When the person takes a nap should last only 20 minutes maximum, and preferably it is before 16 hours and only to achieve a recovery from fatigue.

Variables that are considered …

In this laboratory three areas interact, in which the studies are made:

  • Of polysomnography: is a study of the dream. This test records certain bodily functions as one sleeps or tries to sleep.
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation: which is in the research phase to work with patients with problems of depression and sleep disorders.
  • Neuropsychology: For which five students work under three aspects: training, research and service.

Other variables that are measured are:

  • Respiratory flow.
  • The respiratory effort that allows to know if the patient has obstructive sleep apnea.
  • The heart is also measured.
  • Muscle activity.
  • Gas exchange.
  • The pulse.

Multiple Disorders

There are multiple sleep disorders, the most common is obstructive sleep apnea, which consists of a partial or total impediment of the upper airway, which is closed, mainly because there is an accumulation of fat at the neck.


  • It is a pathology that prevents the patient from falling well during their sleep, because the airway becomes narrow, blocked and flexible.


  • It is caused by air that tries to squeeze through the narrow or blocked airway.
  • Breathing stops for a while (often more than 10 seconds).
  • An episode of apnea (breathing pause) is followed by a sudden attempt to breathe and a deep sleep shift to lighter ones.

Another important sign:

  • The person collapses and stops breathing for at least 10 seconds with a repetition up to 15 times within one hour; However, there are people who can not breathe for up to a minute and a half, which has many implications for the patient in terms of physical health.

Three out of 10 people in the state suffer from sleep disturbances.

Sleep Lab

The Faculty of Psychology of the Autonomous University of Yucatan (Uady) has the Dream Laboratory, the only one of its kind in the southeast of the country.

It is located in the Faculty of Psychology of the UADY that is located at kilometer 1 on the Mérida-Tizimín-Cholul road and is open to the general population.


The services offered to the public are:

  • AttentionThe syndrome of obstructive sleep apnea.
  • (Snoring, drowsiness and tiredness in the day, obesity) pInsomnia.
  • Night terrors.
  • Somnambulism.
  • Nightmares.
  • Enuresis.
  • Sleep hygiene.
  • Circadian rhythm disorders
  • (Sleep and wake cycle).

To make an appointment

  • To make an appointment the people can communicate to the telephones: 9432045 or 9432098 from Monday to Friday, from 8:00 to 18:00 hours.
  • To the email:

Each patient stays to sleep one or two nights, one for diagnosis and another for therapeutic indications to follow; Do not induce sleep, the person only sleeps as he normally does to naturally study what happens.

Emotional areas are also analyzed, as in the case of insomnia can affect aspects such as bullying, economic problems or different types.

Sleeps badly more than half of the population

On the other hand, the specialist in psychology of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) Yucatan, Gabriela Ojeda Méndez, indicated that sleep disorders or difficulty sleeping are one of the causes of more frequent consultation in that institute.

“It is estimated that more than 50 percent of the population will experience sleep disorders, at least once in their life, although for most of them they are not of greater importance and are not given due attention; Even, it has been observed that the people who suffer it go more to the clinics for other symptoms, “he said.

He explained that insomnia is the lack of proper sleep and may be difficulties in reconciling it, waking up frequently or very early; In addition to sleepiness during the day, despite having a dream of adequate duration.

He said that frequent intake of medicines to treat certain diseases causes sleep deprivation; Persistent insomnia can affect the daily activities of people, cause injury by accidents and favor the onset of deep depression.

Ojeda Méndez said that this pathology should be treated initially by correcting bad sleeping habits. Noises and lights in the bedroom interfere with sleep, as does a roommate who snores loudly; Also, clocks that make a lot of noise can intensify anxiety.

When insomnia persists, even after taking appropriate measures to correct it, it may be necessary to use medications, always under medical supervision.

Drugs to treat sleep problems are called tranquilizers or sleeping pills.

DG - Causas de la alteración del sueño