Persons with persistent sleep disorders should in principle consult a doctor who will examine them and treat them if necessary.
Even if the sleep disturbances are not perceived subjectively as such – which is often the case, for example, with excessive snoring or excessivefatigue – they should still be clarified and, if necessary, therapy should be carried out. Sleep problems can become self-dependent and lead to serious problems that can affect the profession, social environment and general well-being.
Sleeping medication and other medicines can only relieve the acute symptoms of sleep disturbances, but they are not a solution for longer periods of time (sleeping a few weeks should be used).
More important for the therapy of sleep disorders is to find out from where the sleep disturbances come and eliminate their cause . This is not always easy: a busy street in front of the bedroom window is not easy to lay. If sleep disorders persist in such a case, only one move can help in the long term.
Respiratory mask for snoring or sleep apnea
If therapeutic measures against sleep-induced breathing disorders (such as snoring or sleep apnea) are permanently unsuccessful, a respiratory therapy device can be helpful in combination with a respiratory mask during sleep.
In doing so, the airways are kept open during sleep by means of a nose mask or a full-face mask by means of overpressure. Thus, one can avoid or reduce respiratory exacerbation and snoring. Breathing masks are individually adapted in the sleep laboratory.
In most cases, simple measures such as the absence of coffee, nicotine or alcohol, regular sleep times and sleeping in side-by-side as well as overweight patients help to reduce weight to correct sleep problems.
Relaxation techniques , such as autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation , can help to sleep longer and fall asleep faster. They do not improve sleep, however, and do not contribute to the recreational effect of sleep. On the other hand, behavioral therapies can improve sleep but not prolong it. A combination of relaxation technology and behavioral therapy is therefore the appropriate therapy for some sleep disorders.
Typical sleep disturbances in children such as nightmare (Pavor nocturnus) or drowsiness are among the temporary sleep disturbances and do not have to be treated. They are usually confined to a clearly limited period in childhood and have no effect on rest during sleep. Especially in infants and toddlers, children must also find their individual sleep-wake rhythm. Particularly during this time the rhythm can often be confused by growth and development, new impressions and other influences. Sleep disorders in children are therefore extremely rarely necessary.
In some cases, the therapy of sleep disturbances consists in adapting nutritional and living habits and developing healthy sleep hygiene:
- A good bed and a good mattress are a prerequisite for a restful sleep.
- Do not eat too late, too spicy and too rich. Also digested food during the day can disturb night sleep.
- Do not go to sleep until you feel tired.
- Keep as much sleep as possible.
- Do not stay too long in bed outside of bedtime.
- Do not take any caffeine-containing drinks, such as coffee, black tea or cola or caffeine-containing drugs, four to six hours before sleeping.
- Do not smoke before sleeping or during the night.
- Ensure sufficient rest and darkness in the bedroom. Air your bedroom enough. The room temperature should not exceed 18 degrees Celsius.
- Do not exercise physically strenuous sport immediately before going to sleep because the circulation is too much stimulation.
- Do not drink any alcoholic beverages before sleeping. A glass of wine or beer may have an initially soporific effect, the daily drowsiness as well as excessive consumption of alcohol leads to sleep disturbances during the further course of the night.
- Refrain from extended daytime sleep. A noon sleep should not exceed 15 minutes.
- If you can not sleep at all, it does not help to bother with the thought for an extended period of time: Stand up instead and deal with it for a while. Boil yourself a tea or distract yourself with a light reading until you are tired again.