More And Better
Professor Teresa Paiva in Jornal I
Professor Teresa Paiva: ‘There are people in their 30s sleeping in their parents’ bed.’
Professor Teresa Paiva has granted an extensive interview to Jornal I, of which we publish a small extract with a link to the complete text (by Marta F. Reis) on the webpage of the newspaper.
How did your interest in this area begin?
I was a neurologist at Santa Maria Hospital (Lisbon) and in the early 80s there was some new equipment to monitor patients in a coma. As it was heavy and on one of the first occasions I took it to the intensive care unit I developed sciatica, I stopped using it. It just so happened that I needed this equipment later for two patients in my care, one who entered respiratory arrest and the other who suffered from drowsiness. I went back to the machines and found they had sleep apnoea (OSA). After that, I specialised.
Was it by mere chance then?
Yes, and it’s good it was. Things are more beautiful when they just happen. Sleep became my passion. We spend a third of our lives sleeping and during that time we carry out functions, which are essential to our survival. Sleep results from years and years of biological refinement so it is not insignificant.
And is it more and more under threat?
Absolutely. I have more and more patients. Increasingly people don’t sleep well due to the hardships in life and the traumas they experience.
Isn’t there a cultural problem as well? Is it normal to have live talk shows and debates throughout the night?
It also makes me feel bewildered. I’m still waiting for the day when our television listings are compared to the ones in other European countries. In Germany or England, after a certain hour you watch reruns, there are no live shows. I believe this is a very specific Portuguese trait. And it is harmful because we wake up at the same time that our Nordic counterpart countries do. 70% of the Portuguese go to bed after midnight. I’m interested in finding a possible explanation for this.’
Read the full interview here.
Souce: Jornal I