La Jornada – Matilda Valencia: a medicine for sleep

Neurophysiologist Matilda Valencia and a group of national and foreign collaborators united in the study of polysomnography and its clinical application have written a fully informative work on the PSG technique: basic aspects, classification, interpretation and application in clinical practice.

Dr. Valencia’s book, edited by the Faculty of Psychology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the Salvador Zuberan National Hospital for Medical Sciences and Nutrition, is important for its Spanish-language publication. What was present was scattered in various sources in the English language. The text will promote the development of sleep medicine in Mexico, Spain and Latin America. (that is, walker there is no road, the road is made by walking).

In short, I allow myself to point out the central points of the work on which I comment, especially those of complaints heard daily in conversations about “I can’t sleep” and which are seldom resolved during sleep medication.

By characterizing sleep in two states of non-rapid eye movement sleep and REM sleep, he led scholars to understand that physiology differs between wakefulness and sleep, that it differs when falling asleep, and that it changes during sleep itself; This knowledge was provided thanks to a technology that evolved into what is now known as polysomnography (PSG).

PSG allows measurement of sleep in all its phases or stages; It allows seeing and calculating eye movement during sleep, which is always associated with dream activity; Limb movement heart rate and rhythm disturbances. Arrhythmia, respiratory rate and obstructions (apnea), concomitant chain of events, such as hypoxemia and hypercapnia, as well as changes in the electrical activity of the brain, the activity of which is acquired through amplifiers, collected, plotted, and interpreted according to the knowledge generated by Sleep scientists through decades of work.

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Thanks to PSG, we now know that the brain can be more active than when you’re awake, such as during REM sleep. Later, in the 1960s, we’d say sleep medicine was born. The sleep period and various physiological signals are simultaneously recorded: EEG, ECG, EMG, airflow, respiratory effort, ECG, oximetry, snoring, and posture. I will continue next week.

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