Good night: Insomnia is a ‘chronic disease’

Podcast “important today”
Why the “eight-hour minimum” sleep myth doesn’t apply to everyone

sleeping woman

“It’s completely normal to have a bad night’s sleep,” says star-Science editor Bernhard Albrecht in the podcast “important today”

© Westend61 / Imago Images

“Sleep is like a bird on the window sill and it’s beautiful, but if you approach it and try to grab it, it flies away.” starEditor Bernhard Albrecht describes the cramped relationship we develop with sleep as soon as it becomes a problem.

According to a study, every tenth employed person in Germany suffers from sleep disorders. But when does a sleep disorder actually start? Going to bed as early as possible, at a maximum room temperature of 18 degrees, sleeping for at least eight hours – and without fail – that is the idea of ​​perfect sleep. Only: It also puts quite a lot of pressure. “Sleeping behavior and need for sleep are very individual, says star-Science Editor Bernhard Albrecht in the 442nd episode “important today”.

“Eight-hour minimum” sleep myth: “Daytime sleepiness is crucial”

For example, if you only sleep three to four hours, you do not automatically suffer from a sleep disorder. “It’s a myth that we need seven to eight hours of sleep.” According to Bernhard Albrecht, the question is: How do you deal with it? It becomes problematic when someone can no longer get through the day without three naps. “The decisive factor is the daytime sleepiness.” Then the power nap, the 20-minute nap, becomes a problem. “If you’re a ‘normal person’, a power nap will help you get going,” says Bernhard Albrecht. “But if you don’t get to sleep at night and then catch up on it with a power nap during the day, you reduce the pressure to sleep.” who sleep disorders has to stay up as long as possible – as difficult as it is – so that I can hopefully work towards a healthy relationship with sleeping again.

Insomnia is like “a chronic disease”

There are a variety of sleep disorders. Those who cannot get rid of them suffer terribly. “It’s like a chronic illness,” says Bernhard Albrecht in the podcast. And then it can often no longer be treated. “There’s a small group of people who can’t get any better help than sleeping pills.” But they are a problem Germany: Over a million people are dependent on sleeping pills. “The general rule is: be careful with sleeping pills – but you shouldn’t demonize them either,” says the science editor. Because: “Sleeping pills are not the same as sleeping pills.”

Benzodiazepines, Z-substances and melatonin: “Sleeping pills are not the same as sleeping pills”

Although the so-called benzodiazepines are highly addictive, there is also the group of Z-substances or the hopefuls that are quite new on the market, so-called orexin inhibitors, which probably have a significantly lower addiction potential. What parallel to these sleeping pills is often advertised and is intended to help with problems falling asleep are melatonin preparations. The hormone is also produced by the brain itself and it has a “pushing effect”, as Bernhard Albrecht says. However, the science editor is ambivalent. Because if you take melatonin at different or wrong times, you can completely mess up your biorhythm. On the other hand, if the dose is too low, melatonin has at most a placebo effect. “Sleep experts are very critical of self-medication and preparations from the drugstore.”

Michael Abdollahi

© TVNOW / Andreas Friese

Podcast “important today”

Sure, opinionated, on the 12: “today important” is not just a news podcast. We set topics and initiate debates – with attitude and sometimes uncomfortable. Host Michel Abdollahi and his team speak out for this star– and RTL reporters with the most exciting people from politics, society and entertainment. They let all voices have their say, both the quiet and the loud. Anyone who hears “important today” starts the day well informed and can have a well-founded say.

Basically, Bernhard Albrecht believes that “we have lost the natural relationship to sleep”. We stay up too late at night, and even news that flickers through day and night is “not a good way to get a relaxed relationship with sleep.” For the vast majority of people, however, simple measures help with sleep problems: home remedies such as valerian or meditation, for example. Because: “It is completely normal to temporarily sleep badly.”

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