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EEN News

Update on the last VIASANO campaigns promoting a better sleep and water consumption

sleepTwice a year, VIASANO Central Coordination provides the communities with a new campaign focusing on a major specific theme. In this section get more information about the previous campaign promoting a better sleep and the current one promoting water consumption.

Zoom on VIASANO Campaign: "Sleep well, stay healthy"

In the last 40 years, sleeping time has been reduced in average by 1h30 in USA (1,2). In Europe, recent studies, led by the French Institute for Health Promotion and Health Education (INPES – 2008) and the Institute of Sleep and Awareness (2004 and 2009) showed that a third of the 18 to 55 years old population usually sleeps less than 6 hours per night and that more than three quarters of teenagers sleep 8 hours or less during the week (instead of the 9h recommended). It has also been shown that chronic sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain (3).

Furthermore, a study led by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) revealed that Belgian citizens are the biggest consumers of sleeping pills and statistics are impressive: 21 % of Belgian citizens have sleep disorders and 10 % take sleeping pills.

This background led the VIASANO programme to implement a campaign on the importance of sleep during the 2nd semester of 2010. It has been entitled: “Sleep well, stay healthy”.

VIASANO developed this campaign to raise awareness of the population on this issue. By coordinating actions on the field (see article) and disseminating key messages through stimulating communication tools (poster, letter to health professionals, pedagogical kits, sleeping tests*…), the campaign broadly encouraged the population to reflect on their sleep needs and to observe a natural sleeping rate. This campaign was also the opportunity to provide information to adults about sleep apnoea, a much misunderstood cardiovascular risk factor.

Sleep promotion could seem to take an opposite direction to previous themes promoting physical activity but is indeed complementary echoes recent studies on childhood obesity prevention.

* The sleeping test is based on the Epworth sleepiness scale intended to measure daytime sleepiness with the use of a very short questionnaire.

Current campaign:

For the first semester of 2011, the new VIASANO campaign promotes water consumption. The local VIASANO teams have already attended the training seminar organized by the VIASANO central coordination team and have received the toolkit for this theme (e.g. see poster below). The key messages and the toolkit have been developed at central level with the guidance of the expert committee. Sometimes inspired from experiences of other EPODE programmes such as OPAL (South Australia), many events and celebrations around water and beverages are scheduled in the upcoming months in the VIASANO towns.


1.    Kripke DF et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979; 36(1).
2.    National Sleep Foundation. "Sleep in America" Poll. 2000, 2001 and 2002.
3.    Damien Davenne et al ;  Am J Clin Nutr 2010 ; 91 :1550-9.