At a time when a virus (COVID-19) has turned the world upside down, causing millions of deaths worldwide, scientists, doctors and health personnel continue to warn of the dimension of another type of disease: non-communicable diseases. .
Non-communicable diseases are those that have their origin, to a large extent, in our lifestyles.
To give us an idea of the magnitude, the World Health Organization lists obesity as a non-infectious pandemic, that is to say, it is not a contagious pandemic, like the one produced by COVID-19, but it is a pandemic, since it causes every year in the world 2.8 million deaths.
The 3 childhood pandemics
For the pediatrician specialist in sleep disorders Gonzalo Pin, our little ones are currently victims of three pandemics, in addition to the one produced by Covid. These three pandemics are: Chronic sleep deficit. We have more than 24% of children who sleep less than they need.
Overweight and obesity. “Despite being one of the countries that created the Mediterranean diet, we are champions of childhood obesity and overweight,” Pin tells us. The truth is that the data is alarming: 40% of children between the ages of 6 and 9 are overweight or obese.
Misuse and abuse of technology. Young people spend an average of more than a third of the year online, specifically 136.5 days a year. In Spain, 72.7% of children under 12 have a mobile. according to study data The impact of screens on family lifemade by Empantallados.
“These three pandemics are closely related. A chronic sleep deficit favors obesity. And, on the other hand, the abuse or misuse of technology favors a sedentary life. That is to say, there are three pandemics that feed on each other & rdquor ;.
How ‘vamping’ affects our children’s rest
the word vamping It has its origin in the mixture of two English terms, vampire (vampire) and texting (action of typing text messages), and refers to the phenomenon by which people, generally adolescents, use electronic devices, such as mobile phones, during the night, reducing the necessary hours of sleep.
“Our children reduce the hours of sleep because instead of falling asleep, they consult the mobile, but it is that the light from the devices sends a signal to your brain saying that there is light, that it is daytime, that it has to be activated, which is going to make it more difficult when you want to fall asleep& rdquor;Pin alerts us.
In addition, Pin insists: “what affects our children’s rest is not only the fact that by using technology until late they reduce their hours of sleep, but the mere presence of technology in the room decreases the quality of it& rdquor ;.
Pin’s advice is clear: “Mobile must be left out of the room. We all leave it in the living room or in the corridor loading & rdquor ;.
The example, the best way to prevent these pandemics
Gonzalo Pin gives us some advice to prevent our children from being affected by any of these three pandemics:
Good breakfast, sitting and in a bright room. If possible with nuts, which have tryptophan and will allow us to clear our heads.
walk to school. And, if that’s not possible, park your car three streets below. In this way, they will gradually eliminate the neurotransmitters that tell them that it is time to sleep and activate those that tell them that it is time to live.
Advance schedulessomething that in Spain is complicated, but we have to try.
At breakfast, lunch and dinner, no technology. Take the opportunity to socialize, talk with the family.
Although we care about targeting our children for sport activities, the rest of the day, our children perform sedentary activities. Try to reverse the situation.
Use the hours before sleeping to deactivate us. As? Reading, talking quietly, dimming the light…
The example. Contrary to what happens with Covid, these three pandemics are preventable. “Education and families play a fundamental role. Children learn by model, we must be a good example.”