34 million people suffer from sleep disorders in this country alone. Star doctor Yael Adler reveals what’s behind it – and how you can support the quality of your sleep yourself.
“And: did you sleep well?”, the cheap but attention-seeking question hits the spot for some of us, more precisely, right in the middle of our very personal sleep center. Studies in Western countries show that every third adult has trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the night, and every tenth adult already has a chronic sleep disorder.
“Somebody slept badly?!” A simple but accurate diagnosis: Poor sleep worsens our mood and our cognitive abilities, and it affects our immune system.
As we age, the quality of our sleep deteriorates. In women, this can also be due to a decrease in the sleep-inducing hormone progesterone from the time around the menopause, while in both sexes it can be due to a decrease in melatonin. This is the hormone that is manufactured in the pineal gland in our brain and also in many cells in the body. From the age of 60, 70 percent of people already have a melatonin deficiency!
Yael Adler is a dermatologist and bestselling author. She has completed additional training in phlebology (vein medicine) and nutritional medicine. Her specialty: The influence of nutrition and psyche on the skin.
Because our body’s sleep clock is directly affected by the light and dark that our eyes pick up, total darkness is required for proper melatonin production, when its levels skyrocket to eight to ten times the daily melatonin level. It is therefore clear that light, especially the blue light from televisions, tablets, mobile phones or alarm clocks, is not a good sleeping companion because it can severely disrupt melatonin production.
Street lanterns, which shine comfortably through the window, are also disruptive factors. Melatonin is a darkness hormone, but above all it is an antioxidant that fights free radicals and protects the genetic material from damage in almost all cells. Now it becomes clear why it is considered an anti-aging substance and also that beauty sleep really does exist.
We can influence a whole range of our personal sleeping conditions ourselves. If you have the feeling that you are suffering from insomnia, you should consult a sleep doctor.
All about our largest organ – Yael Adler
If you snore heavily, you might benefit from an anti-snoring splint (lower jaw protrusion splint), which is clicked onto the upper and lower jaw after kissing goodnight, similar to a crunching splint. It keeps the upper jaw forward and prevents it from slipping backwards and obstructing the airway.
If you have trouble falling asleep, valerian root and hops as a mixed preparation can help, as can melatonin (3 mg – 5 mg), taken in the evening half an hour before you plan to sleep at night, optimally in a pulsatile dosage form that best imitates nature, a supply of small Impetus throughout the night and leaves no hangover the next day.
Our immediate surroundings can also be made sleep-friendly. It is best to expect a cool room temperature for the night’s sleep. If you want to make provisions for the night during the day, the best way to do this is to exercise in the fresh air. Anyone who treats themselves to a warm shower in the evening reduces the core body temperature and initiates the cooling necessary for sleeping.
Sleeping pills taken over a longer period of time can seriously impair the day-night rhythm and should by no means be the permanent solution.
Stress also disrupts the day-night rhythm, which means that cortisol levels remain high at night. Growth hormones are not released and you become overweight.
Seven to eight hours of sleep is considered a recommended standard. However, individuals can get by with less sleep.
Just close your eyes and stay healthy!