Delegate: Samson Khachatryan
Affiliations: Armenian Sleep Disorders Association, Somnus Neurology Clinic
Activity: The president of Armenian Sleep Disorders Association (ARSDA) Dr. Samson Khachatryan is the delegate to World Sleep Day (WSD) activities in Armenia for years. Together with his younger colleagues Dr. Khachatryan annually organizes sleep-related events in Armenia aiming to raise awareness about sleep health and its issues. WSD in 2019 was special, as a sleep disorders epidemiological door-to-door survey was performed in Armenia for the first time and “The Prevalence of Sleep Disorders in Armenia” study results were presented in the frames of Sleep Awareness Week. The week of sleep awareness events lasted from March 13 to March 17 involving healthcare professionals, medical field students and general population.
With the resources of Armenian Sleep Disorders Association and in collaboration with Somnus Neurology Clinic (including a leading Sleep Disorders Center in Armenia) an overall aim was to boost media environment with the information on preserving healthy sleep by maintaining sleep hygiene and being well-informed about sleep disorders and their distribution throughout Armenia. An active promotion was initiated via various Facebook pages. A press conference was organized with the support Ministry of Health of Republic of Armenia (RA MoH).
The initial part of Sleep Awareness Week was March 13th. A TV-show called “Live Healthy” hosted neurologist, somnologist Dr. Samson Khachatryan and neurologist, clinical neurophysiologist Dr. Lusine Vardanyan. The specialists gave an overview of sleep medicine in Armenia, showed how they work with patients and briefly presented sleep diagnostics performed in a sleep laboratory.
Half an hour of honest talk and active discussion about sleep was aired on Sputnik Armenia radio station hosting Dr. Samson Khachatryan. The main goal was to inform listeners what steps should be performed to reach high-quality sleep.
On this day World Sleep Day was celebrated by a cycle of events including press-conference, local two-days sleep awareness conference, TV and radio shows attendance, published news on media sources.
The day started with participation in some popular morning Armenian TV-shows. Dr. Samson Khachatryan and Dr. Anahit Darabyan were simultaneously interviewed on different TV-channels: H1 (National First Channel) and Shant TV.
Aravot Luso – one of the most popular morning TV shows in Armenia, hostes Dr Samson Khachatryan, who was talking about healthy sleep, benefits of keeping it scheduled. He also highlighted data on the most prevalent sleep disorders in Armenia from the survey.
ARSDA member, neurologist Anahit Darabyan attended Aravot Shantum another popular morning TV show in Armenia. She was talking about importance of sleep and what should people do in order to keep it healthy. The show hosts expressed the most frequently asked questions about sleep scheduling and sleep disorders.
Dr. Khachatryan attended also “I am healthy” Radio Show on the National Radio Channel which is dedicated to medical topics. This large almost 1-hour interview with Dr. Khachatryan covered all the major sleep medicine topics.
Supported by Ministry of Health Armenian Sleep Disorders Association president Dr Samson Khachatryan and Dr Lusine Vardanyan were invited to an interview at the Armenpress club. They presented information about what World Sleep Day is and what should everyone know about sleep in general. They also talked about sleep disorders and presented detailed information about Prevalence of Sleep Disorders in Armenia study which is in fact performed in Armenia for the first time. Journalists were quite curious about how long Armenians sleep, the distribution of sleep disorders in Armenia and which one is the most prevalent.
Online news media was involved in the process of spreading information about sleep maintenance importance and sleep disorders prevalence in Armenia. On World Sleep Day, March 15 the following news sources posted interviews and reviews on major sleep topics.
1. Besides press conference RA MoH supported WSD 2019 by a post on their official website highlighting the most important points of sleep hygiene.
2. Doctors.am is an official medical information resource in Armenia. In an interview named “How do Armenians sleep” Dr. Samson Khachatryan was asked about sleep disorders distribution in Armenia.
3. Armenpress gave its own feedback on sleep disorders prevalence study and posted sleep hygiene rules.
In the frames of World Sleep Day celebration Armenian Sleep Disorders Association (ARSDA) organized local events for medical field representatives separated in two days March 15 and 16. The aim was to raise awareness in students and residents and healthcare professionals thus creating more interest in sleep and informing specialists about sleep disorders and their management. The events were organized by ARSDA and supported by some other organizations.
ARSDA members supported by Young Researchers Union (YRU) presented several lectures about sleep importance, sleep hygiene and sleep disorders. Previously ARSDA and YRU signed an agreement of mutual support in research and other programs. The event was held in Yerevan State Medical University (YSMU) and the main audience consisted from medical students and healthcare professionals.
ARSDA president Dr. Samson Khachatryan opening remarks were followed by an informative sleep physiology and sleep disorders overview presented by Neurology department resident Dr. Garik Yeganyan. Then Dr. Khachatryan presented a detailed overview of sleep disorders prevalence in Armenia according to the performed study. Special attention was paid to obstructive sleep apnea syndrome as the most interdisciplinary disorder. The lecture of Dr. Marina Petrosyan was about sleep apnea from the view of pulmonologist, whereas Dr. Lusine Vardanyan emphasized its role in neurology. Dr. Zaruhi Tavadyan – a movement disorders specialist, neurologist familiarized the audience to Parkinson’s disease, its sleep-related issues, RLS, REM-behavior disorder, and further management.
The audience was very interested in the presented topics and asked many questions.
The continuation of March 15th seminar was presented by residents as case reports from sleep medicine assisted by Heratsi iLAB on March 16th. After a brief overview of sleep disorders prevalence in Armenia by Dr. Samson Khachatryan the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year neurology residents Knarik Hovhannisyan, Lilit Avetisyan, Garik Yeganyan, Kristina Arustamyan, Sevak Ayvazyan, Syune Mirzakhanyan and 5th year student Mariam Isayan presented clinical cases on the following topics: epilepsy in sleep, restless legs syndrome, jactatio capitis nocturna, parasomnias such as sleep paralysis, REM sleep behavior disorder, NREM parasomnias including a case of sleep apnea associated NREM parasomnia. They had time spent at a sleep center and were sharing their “Sleep medicine through residents’ eyes” approach in convincing the audience how sleep is important in clinical practice. Each disorder was briefly explained for the audience and diagnostic criteria from International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD-3) 3rd edition AASM 2014 were given.
March 17 was considered to be the day of general population awareness. For the first time it was decided to make a meeting out of the capital of Armenia. Two hours of interactive discussion happened in the second largest Armenian city of Gyumri. Participants asked their questions both during and after short sleep related lectures.
With these various media appearances, social media activity, seminars and case discussions it was possible to introduce sleep and its disorders, and also the new prevalence data to a large selection of specialists and general population.
Dr. Samson Khachatryan is the President of Armenian Sleep Disorders Association and Director of Somnus Neurological Clinic in Yerevan, Armenia.
Location: Yerevan, Gyumri
Date of Activity: 13-17.03.2019
Submitted By: Samson Khachatryan