El Salvador 2024| Elena Maricela Majano MD | Bernes Medical Sleep Medicine and Neurology Private Center

Delegate: Elena Maricela Majano MD

Affiliation: Bernes Medical Sleep Medicine and Neurology Private Center, since 2011

Short Bio: Dr. Elena Majano/ Medical Director of Bernes Medical/Internal Medicine, Neurology & Sleep Medicine Specialist.


  • Inselspital – Universitätsspital Bern, Switzerland.
  • Neurosciences Institute, Favaloro Foundation, Somnos Private Sleep Medicine Institute and Dr. Alfredo Thomson” Neurology Center attached to former French Hospital, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Dr. Majano currently directs the first private practice dedicated exclusively to the diagnosis and treatment disorders in El Salvador.

Since 2012: Delegate for El Salvador

2015: Winner of Distinguished Activity Awardees

2017: Winner of Distinguished Activity Awardees

2018: Winner of Distinguished Activity Awardees

2023: Winner of Distinguished Activity Awardees

2019-2020-2021: WSD Honorable Mentions

Since 2016: World Sleep Day® Committee member

Since 2016: Regional Coordinator/ Central America, Caribbean

Our mission at Bernes Medical Sleep Center is to promote Good Sleep and raise awareness about the importance of sleep in life, for people of all ages, emphasizing the benefits of good sleep practices and warning about the risks that sleep disorders bring to people’s lives.

Although we are a private sleep medicine center, we carry out continuous medical education on the subject of sleep in conjunction with the pharmaceutical industry.

Our Goal: 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep are possible, and El Salvador has sleep specialists, diagnostic tools, and treatments to achieve it.

Activity: This year, strategic alliances were created for the promotion of WSD 2024, in order to have much more coverage and make the public more aware about sleep disorders.

Our allies were:

  1. Bernes Medical Medicina del Sueño, El Salvador
  2. Laboratorios Medfarma, El Salvador
  3. Jorgelina Cerritos a Salvadoran poet, actress and playwright

Since 2023, our traditional “Good Sleep Week” became “March: Good Sleep Month.”

The activities aimed at promoting the World Sleep Day based on this year’s slogan, were carried during all of March 2024. As it has been a tradition since 2012, The Bernes Medical Banner for WSD 2024 and our: Chocolate of good sleep 2024 were designed, the last one as a “thank you” souvenir for supporting media (radio and television programs) that interviewed is and allowed us to spread the World Sleep Day 2024 celebration nationwide. You can see the photos below:

The logo of this WSD 2024 was specially designed for the occasion, with the sole purpose of making the meaning of the slogan visibly clear: “Sleep Equity for Global Health” In Spanish it was translated to: “SUEÑO EQUITATIVO PARA UNA SALUD GLOBAL”

One Television program interview: “Frente a Frente”  This television program was chosen because it is the one with the largest morning audience in El Salvador. There was a very high audience peak between 7 and 8 am. You can see the photos below. 

1 podcast was held throughout March to promote the WSD slogan 2024.

Once of the two newspapers with the greatest relevance and reach in El Salvador: El Salvador.com allowed me to write an article to commemorate WSD 2024.

On Wednesday and Friday, March 13 & 15, the keynote conference about WSD 2024 was held.

Key topics of the conference:

  1. History and importance of World Sleep Day
  2. Development of Slogan for 2024
  3. Characteristics of quality sleep and how to achieve it
  4. The consequences of poor sleep
  5. The commentary from World Sleep Day Leadership was discussed and fully explained the the audience
  6. The three Key Messaging for World Sleep Day 2024 were covered at length. A special emphasis was placed on the multidimensional approach to sleep health and the 6 dimensions of sleep were explained.
  7. The hard core of our conference was addressing sleep health disparities and how to improve the health of populations across the world, suggesting strategies that are feasible to implement at a social or community level, without forgetting everything we can do for our patients in our private practice.
  8. The concept of “Sleep health disparities” was defined. The causes of these disparities and their effects on the individual’s global health were addressed.
  9. Chronic insomnia was discussed as a consequence of these disparities. What is the clinical picture of it, how to diagnose and combat it, but above all how to ensure that the disease of chronic insomnia is recognized as a legitimate illness.
  10. Within sleep hygiene, the 10 commandments were reinforced to sleep better and fight disparities in sleep health. (You can see photos below)

THE PLAY: The Jewel of WSD 2024 activities. 

In August 2023, I began to ponder what “the event”” would be to celebrate WSD 2024. Why not do something completely different and innovative? Something that had never been done before in El Salvador and Central America to celebrate WSD: A Play! One that centered around the WSD 2024 slogan. And thus, “NOCTURNOS” was born.

With this play, two of my passions came together: Art and sleep. I proposed the idea of pharmaceutical company that has sponsored this event for the past 5 years: Medpharma Laboratories, and they didn’t hesitate to say yes! I also told them that I dreamed of staging the play at the National Theater in the historic center of the capital, San Salvador.

Knowing that the slogan for WSD 2024 was based on sleep equity for global health and that addressing disparities in sleep was at the core of the slogan. I didn’t hesitate to propose the idea to the nationally and internationally recognized Salvadoran playwright and actress.

Jorgelina Cerritos, (San Salvador, November 23, 1974) is a Salvadoran poet, actress and playwright. Graduate in Psychology from the University of El Salvador (UES). She cultivates both playwriting and poetry directed for children and adults. Her playwriting texts have been staged in El Salvador, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Honduras, Italy and Panama. https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jorgelina_Cerritos

Her Awards and honors 

In 2004, the National Council for Culture and Culture (CONCULTURA) of El Salvador awarded her the title of Grand Master’s in children’s theater for having won the National Children’s theater Award three times with his works ” En el desván de Antonia” (2000), “The Miracles of Amate” (2002) and “The Collector” (2004). She has the National Playwriting Award of El Salvador in the year 2008 with the works “Atrás de mi voz” (compilation of short theater pieces) and “Una ronda para José”, respectively. Her workds “The Collector” , “The Function Must Continue” and “Answers for a Menu” have been staged by the theater group, of which he is a part, Los del Quinto Piso and presented both nationally and internationally, from 2007 to date. In January 2010 she won the prestigious Casa de las Americas Latin American Literary Award in the theater category, with her work “Al otro lado del mar”. She is the fifth Salvadoran to obtain the Casa de las Américas recognition, from Havana, Cuba and the first in the ‘Theater’ branch.

In September 2011, she received the 5th George Woodyard Latin American Theater Prize, awarded by the University of Connecticut (USA) with her play “Vértigo 824”. This second award positions her at the height of current Latin American dramaturgy, this is the first time that El Salvador obtains this recognition for national dramaturgy.

In October 2012, her work “The Audience of the Confines. First essay on memory” was unanimously selected as one of the winning works of the VI International Biennial of Women’s Playwriting “The Writing of Differences”, an international competition organized through Cuba and Italy.

Her dramatic work has been published by the Editorial Fund of Casa de las Américas, Cuba, 2010, in ARS Magazine, El Salvador, 2010, in Latin American Theater Review, Center of Latin American Studies, University of Kansas, 2012. In 2013 she was declared Grand Master again, but this time in Salvadoran Theater for winning three Floral Games in that literary branch. With To the lullaby, lullaby. Al pregón, pregón!, a children’s collection of poems, won the sole prize at the XXIII Floral Games of Santa Ana.

Jorgelina was also my patient. In addition, she has a clear concept of the importance of good sleep, since her life she has gone through periods in which insomnia has been writing companion. She was the perfect choice to co-write “NOCTURNOS” 

She gladly accepted the proposal, and together, we brought “NOCTURNOS” to life, making it the highlight with which El Salvador closed March 2024, the global sleep month.

Before enjoying the staging of NOCTURNOS, the guests were received with a welcome cocktail in one of the most beautiful and elegant rooms of the National Theater (see photos below) 

NOCTURNOS suggests an emotional and psychological journey through the night, exploring the nuances of insomnia and its implications on the characters’ lives. It invites the audience to immerse themselves in a world on nocturnal wakefulness. introspection, and emotional challenges.

In a world where noise and haste sometimes seem to dominate our lives, theater emerges as an oasis of authenticity and human connection. It invites us to delve into stories that move us, challenge us, and make us reflect on our own existence.

The theater is a sacred space where imagination and reality meet, where the complexities of the human being are explored, and where stories that deserve to be told are given a voice.

The play I am about to describe is not just a series of acts and dialogues, but a journey that takes us deep into the human soul. From laughter to tears, from hope to despair, we will immerse ourselves in a world created by reality, creativity, and talent of Salvadoran artists who have dedicated their time and talent to “NOCTURNOS.” 

In this play, there are no passive spectators, only accomplices to the magic that unfolds before our eyes.


  1. The central characters: THERE ARE THREE, each with a different sleep disorder according to their lifestyle.
  2. Each of their stories is described.
  3. How an accident, a brief moment of convergence, involving the three characters changes everything.
  4. The medical consultation, with the same healthcare professional, without them knowing they share it: Internist Doctor.
  5. The changes they try to make in their lifestyle after that consultation to improve their sleep disorders.
  6. The “invitation” made by the doctor to the three to receive a type of therapy that will help them with their insomnia: CCT-I
  7. Final Act: The three closing circles, accepting their realities, and having the tools that therapy provides to combat the sleep disorder each one suffers from, talking among themselves about insomnia and feeling accompanied by themselves and their doctor, while David Bowie’s song “HEROES” plays in the background.

Character #1

Mateo, 26 years old

Occupation: Communications Science Student, TikToker and aspiring influencer

Sleep Disorder: Delayed Sleep Phase 

Mateo is a young man with aspirations typical of his age. A lover of social media and up-to-date content, always seeking something innovative. This lifestyle has led him to alter his sleep rhythms, “forcing” himself to fall asleep between 1 and 3 am. Battling against his sleep to post content on social media, he even talks about the issue and shares his sleep problems with his followers. He has read that delaying bedtime is common among young people. He can do this because he has also enrolled in university courses in the afternoon. He has been living this way for 3 years. (see photos below) 

Character #2

Don Julio, 55 years old

Occupation: Factory security guard, with night shifts every 3 days

Sleep Disorder: Insomnia due to Circadian Rhythm Disorder from rotating shifts. 

He has been working as a guard in a factory for 10 years, and since the first year, he felt his sleep was disrupted. Before this job, he was a day laborer with a schedule from 7 am to 3 pm, without having any sleep problems. But when the company closed and he became the breadwinner of the family, he found this job. He has searched for different jobs without success. Every 3 days, he doesn’t sleep through the night, eats to stay awake, has gained weight, and his blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels are uncontrolled. His wife tells him he is snoring more than usual and that sometimes she notices he stops breathing: possible sleep apnea. He is very sleepy during the day and cannot sleep in the mornings when he gets home. He also experiences serious short-term memory problems. He knows he needs to seek help. (see photos below) 

Character #3

Ana Maria, 43 years old

Occupation: Marketing graduate, mother of two children under 10, wife.

Sleep disorder: Chronic mixed insomnia. 

Ana has been having difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep for 4 years, which at first were sporadic, occurring once or twice a week, without much of a problem. Two years ago, these symptoms worsened: it takes her at least 2 hours to fall asleep at night, she arrives tired in bed but not sleepy, she feels uncomfortable, nervous, tossing and turning in bed, experiences sensations of burning in her back, palpitations, and sometimes feels she cannot breath. She wakes up many times in the early morning. Her mood is very altered; she experiences a lot of distress during the day. She has two children: it is with her daughter Anita that she spends a lot of time, a teenager who perceives that “something” is not right with mom. Ana feels she is on the verge of collapse, that her husband does not support her, and that the role of wife, mother, homemaker, and professional is very heavy… “if only she could sleep!!!” She knows she needs to seek help; her daughter Anita asks her to do so, too. (see photos below) 


One week before their joint consultation, Mateo had a traffic accident on his motorcycle on the way to university at 1:30 pm. He believe he fell asleep and did not see a woman and her daughter crossing the street, along with a very distracted man. In a matter of seconds, they all collided. Mateo was livestreaming during the accident; his mother saw it on Instagram, and at her insistence Mateo agrees to seek professional medical help (see photos below) 


The three characters consult the same doctor without knowing it after the accident and find themselves in the waiting room, which generated a lot of tension when they recognize each other. The internist who attend to them addresses each of their symptoms and particular situations, gives advice on sleep hygiene and lifestyle changes. She prescribes melatonin and, in Ana Maria’s case, leaves a low-dose nighttime anxiolytic. She schedules all of them for a follow up appointment in 1 month (see photos below) 


Everyone has improved considerably, being able to sleep better. Lifestyle changes: leaving the phone at 8pm for Mateo, managing anxiety, feeling more supported by her husband in the case of Ana Maria and being able to sleep during the day, stopping eating carbohydrates at night for Don Julio, have been important to achieve a better nights rest. Dr. Lazo then proposes that the three receive group CCT-I, to “smooth out” rough edges, to be able to have better support from each other, since the three have a medical condition in common: “chronic insomnia” Everyone agrees to receive therapy and it turns out better than expected. “We can all be heroes, just for one day.” ~Heroes, David Bowie~

Name of the play: “NOCTURNOS”

Written by: Elena Majano and Jorgelina Cerritos, for WSD 2024.

Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Hour: 6:30 pm: Welcome cocktail

8:15 pm: Play

Location: Grand Hall of the National Theater, historic center for San Salvador, El Salvador

Attendees: 183, between doctors and guests.

Actors: Those from Fifth Floor Group and Buchinche Teatro Company.

Such a great experience like every year in the promotion of WSD 2024 in El Salvador, many challenges in this “crusade for good sleep” but also, many plans and projects for the rest of 2024. Mission accomplished so far.











Location: San Salvador, El Salvador

Date of Activity: The complete month of March 2024

Submitted By: Elena Maricela Majano MD