According to the results of a survey carried out by the Research Center on Phytotherapy (INFITO) around half of Spanish people have problems with sleep and almost a quarter of the population suffers from chronic insomnia.

It is estimated that half of the patients who come to the Primary Care clinic manifest symptoms of anxiety, stress or depression, which may affect their quality of sleep. 22% of those affected use medicinal plants (valerian, passionflower ...), while 16% take psychotropic drugs.

Among the reasons why the use of medicinal plants is not more widespread to remedy these disorders highlights the little information that professionals have Primary Care (PA) about these substances. The president of the Spanish Society for the Study of Anxiety and Stress (SEAS), Antonio Cano, disapproves of the use of medications to treat the insomnia episodes, because instead of solving the problem they can aggravate it and cause dependence.

The specialist in Family and Community Medicine, dr. Alberto Sacristán believes that PA professionals are reluctant to recommend the use of medicinal plants to solve these disorders because they do not know them enough. And the fact is that medical studies do not include training in Phytotherapy, which added to the constant appearance of new drugs, makes it difficult to keep updated knowledge about all available products.

Medicinal plants in the pharmacy, not in the herbalist

Dr. Sacristan warns that the consumption of this type of products must be regulated and supervised by the doctor or pharmacist, so it is convenient to purchase them in pharmacies, where you can find compounds that have been duly evaluated and registered by the Ministry of Health. Health and Social Policy, which guarantees its safety for the consumer.

Why do not we sleep well

  • The main factors that influence the sleep of the Spaniards are poor quality. relatives (especially in Madrid), those related to the world labor (in the Valencian Community and Andalusia) and those associated with Health (in Galicia).
  • The economic situation has become a major concern that affects the Spanish dream.
  • Emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety crises are much more common among the female population, especially in the age group between 40 and 49 years, and this group is a large consumer of psychotropic drugs and medicinal plants.
  • To fight against insomnia, in addition to these possible treatments, Dr. Sacristán recommends avoiding heavy dinners and intense exercise before going to sleep, not drinking exciting drinks such as alcohol or coffee, and getting used to going to bed and getting up at the same time every day .

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