On 21st of June it’s time again for the next day of sleeping – exactly at the longest day of the year. Sleeping expert and sleep psychologist Prof. Dr. med. h.c. Guenther W. Amann-Jennson takes this event to talk about restful sleep, health and why the snooze button makes getting up unpleasant: “The one who is able to react fit, balanced, awake, flexible and innovative on the manifold demands of everyday life – at work as well as in private life – has a restful sleep.” Read more about the “the secret of healthy sleep”:
Sleep is no state of “doing nothing”, on the contrary. Only during the night while we are sleeping essential processes can take place: detoxification of the body, strengthening of the immune system, regulation of the hormonal balance, recreation and relief of body, mind and soul, processing of daily impressions and saving of learned stuff as well as making the learned things available and many more.
The secret of healthy sleep
Especially for women healthy, restful and sufficient sleep is the most important key-factor for well-being, health, performance and beauty. But, for women it also became a real skill to wake up in the morning, feeling rested and being able to start fit into the new day. The reasons are manifold (job, children, care) – only when everyone is doing his or her individual necessary share they will succeed. The influence of each season on waking up and morning time, too, is huge. During winter it is significantly darker – this leads to an increased sleeping need and makes waking and getting up even more difficult.
Phenomenon “chronical lack of sleep”
Already more than 80 percent of all adults have too few sleep and accumulated a sleep debt over the years. During just one year, a mother with a baby accumulates a sleep debt of about 600 hours. A lack of sleep makes waking and getting up in the morning harder and is a health hazard on long term. It also favors exhaustion, depression, burnout.
Sleeping quality is decisive
Besides sleep duration, sleeping quality is a further important factor. Sleeping quality is decisive whether you are able to start good and relaxed into the new day or not. Here, the quality of the day (nutrition, exercise, sunlight, breaks, free time etc.) as well as the “sleep-healthy-trio” bed – sleeping place – bedroom are the essential key. As a complement there are quite clear rules for sleep hygiene. Beginning from a regular sleeping rhythm, the personal lifestyle up to avoidance of too much caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.
All tips and hints for getting up easier are useless and come to nothing as long the actual causes for not being able to get up remain unremedied. Many “psychological tricks” are available – up to the famous snooze-button which clearly spoils the start into the day. Now, when it is hard for you wake up well rested at the right time, there are decisive ways:
- Reduce your sleep debt.
- Check your bed, your sleeping place and your bedroom.
- Check your sleep efficiency.
Sleep disturbances – a “worn out” topic?
There are reasons, why this topic is omnipresent: more than 50 percent of all people in the civilized world suffer under sleep disturbances and further 30 percent complain about a sleep that “no longer is restful”. This makes the question “how did I sleep last night” to a major question. One speaks of a sleep disturbance when problems to fall asleep or to sleep through occur for one month at least three times a week.
The reasons are manifold. Longer lasting sleeping problems need a comprehensive diagnosis (in a sleep laboratory, for example). In sleep medicine, there are more than 100 different forms of sleep disturbances. Most of them are not organically caused but have psycho-social reasons or are due to illness or surrounding dependent.
There is a rule of thumb that says, if someone is able to go through the day with sufficient power and without much fatigue the sleep normally is not too bad. But, it has to be considered how many “drugs” (caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, energy drinks) are needed to come through the day.
Only by considering the effects of lack of sleep – which are inevitable when suffering under sleep disturbances – the question of “overload” is answered.
image source: @istock
This post is also available in / Diesen Beitrag gibt es auch in: German