Sleep and its essential function

Sleep is important for humans so that we can rejuvenate. If it is disturbed, it can lead to a whole host of symptoms. The reasons for a sleep disorder can also be varied in nature. Many people suffer from a lack of sleep, but take it as given. You are not looking for a long-term remedy, but try to counter the problem with short-term solutions such as a nap in the day or by taking tablets.

No-one can last long without sleep. There are experiments in which people voluntarily try sleep deprivation. After a certain time, however, they cannot keep their eyes open and they can no longer stay awake. This is also good, because the deep relaxation has plenty of positive effects. Sleep research is still studying the numerous effects of a balanced night's sleep. Sleeping contributes to physical and mental health, for example. Learning is also easier and more effective as the brain can build up new connections during sleep.

The different stages of sleep

Good sleep ensures that the human being will wake up the next morning rejuvenated and with renewed strength. This effect is due to the different sleep phases. During REM sleep (rapid eye movement), the eyes move quickly in different directions. Dreams are particularly intense in this phase, which is why it is also called the dream phase. It is about 20 percent of the total time asleep. The other part consists of NREM sleep (non-rapid eye movement). This is subdivided into light sleep and phases of deep sleep. The different cycles alternate repeatedly in the night. As they continue, the REM and light sleep phases lengthen in time, so that they predominate by morning. Different parts of the brain are active at different times. The brain does not sleep, but uses the time to process and sort the experiences of the previous day.

Sleep disorders - just cannot fall asleep?

There are many different types of sleep disorders. These cause different problems and manifest through differing subtypes:

  • Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep
  • Sleep apnoea: Increased daytime tiredness, pauses in breathing, snoring
  • Parasomnia: Sleep walking, teeth grinding, bed wetting
  • Hypersomnia: excessive daytime sleepiness, frequently caused by another sleep disorder
  • Narcolepsy: Extreme daytime sleepiness, episodes of falling asleep
  • Sleep-related movement disorders: Restless legs (tingling in the legs, muscle twitching)

Sleeplessness and its effects

Being awake the whole night is exhausting: The feeling of rejuvenation the next day is absent and the brain cannot carry out its sorting in peace. This can cause unpleasant adverse effects and manifests itself in the following symptoms:

  • Poor concentration
  • Reduced capacity to perform
  • Fatigue Syndrome
  • Impatience and increased irritability
  • Restlessness, anxiety, Agitation
  • Disturbances of breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure, body temperature and hormonal Balance

Sleep disorder – a multitude of causes

Difficulty sleeping can be caused by a variety of reasons. For example, the wrong lifestyle is to blame. Alcohol, nicotine and also caffeine can also cause sleep disorders. A poor diet and lack of exercise are also problematic. External circumstances, such as too much light, the wrong mattress or noise can keep us awake. Sleep disorders are often associated with physical and psychological disorders. The most common reasons for this, however, are stress and nervousness. Our thoughts do not give us a moment's peace and all the things that need to be done are repeated in our head. At the same time, the anxiety of not being able to fall asleep early enough is intensifying and the restlessness is growing. As a result, sufferers fail to find peace of mind. Psychological reasons such as anxieties and nervousness can also be exacerbated by an unhealthy lifestyle. Caffeine and nicotine are consumed excessively in stressful situations, whereby the physical well-being is thrown out of balance. 

Diagnosis of a sleep disorder

The diagnosis of a sleep disorder can be difficult in some circumstances. On the one hand, there are people who have a subjective feeling of not enough sleep, but are physically and mentally refreshed in the daytime. Others do not notice a sleep disorder, but display the appropriate symptoms in the daytime. A self-test using a sleep diary can give an indication. The brochures of the DGSM, the German Sleep Society, may also be helpful. However, a doctor should be consulted for a definitive diagnosis. They may order a test in the sleep laboratory to provide clarity.

Sleep disorders – homoeopathic help

There a variety of options for overcoming sleep disorders. For problems associated with a disease, this should be treated first. After that, it is important to wait and see if the sleep disorder continues to be present. The healing phase should be accompanied by an appropriate doctor or psychotherapist, depending on the type of illness.

An commonly used method to combat insomnia is to self-medicate with sleeping tablets. However, the tablets should not be taken too frequently nor over a longer period of time as this may worsen the problems. Naturopathic medications can be more helpful. Various medicinal plants, such as valerian, oat and ignatius bean are used as homoeopathic active ingredients. They can relieve the nervousness. An improvement of the sleep problem can be achieved, especially in combination with meditation and relaxation exercises. To reduce stress-related nervousness, it is recommended to regularly exercise in the fresh air and to take deliberate breaks.

Those people who are interested or are sufferers can get further information from us to learn more. 

Natural remedy for a healthy sleep

Homoeopathic drugs help to counter difficulty getting to sleep and nervousness by good gentle means. They do not present the risk of dependence or personality changes. Pasconal® Nerve Drops contain a combination of individual homoeopathic substances which have a calming effect.

Further advice

  • Go for a walk in the evening.
  • Have a light and early evening meal.
  • Air your bedroom properly before going to bed.
  • Ban all items from your bedroom that remind you of work and stress.
  • Take all electrical devices (mobile phone, TV set, digital alarm clock...) out of your bedroom.
  • If you need to get up at night, keep the lighting at a low level!
  • Implement a pre-sleep ritual to help you wind down and get ready to sleep.
  • Learn and practice relaxation techniques.
  • Do not attempt to will yourself to sleep! If you are unable to get to sleep, read a book or note down the thoughts which have you in their grip.
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