Nocturnal respiratory disorders affect about 5 percent of the population, with the incidence increasing with increasing age on the one hand and increasing body weight on the other hand – and unfortunately about half of the population is now overweight . Sleep breathing is so vulnerable because falling asleep decreases muscle tension. Unfortunately, it also reduces the tension of those muscles that keep the throat open in the throat. When the connective tissue loses its elasticity with increasing age, it quickly becomes possible for individual parts of the tissue, such as the suppository, in the throat to vibrate in the air flow and produce the typical snoring sound. This becomes particularly clear after drinking alcohol, because alcohol also has a muscle-relaxing effect.
Can snoring be dangerous?
The normal snoring is harmless. It becomes dangerous if, during inhalation, the airway in the pharynx narrowed or even closed so much because of the lack of muscle and tissue tension that too little or no oxygen was absorbed. The skilled person then speaks of obstructive sleep apnea . Such breathing pauses certainly appear in healthy people up to five times an hour . A morbid disorder is said only when the frequency is over ten times an hour. Typical features of a morbid snore are loud, irregular snoring with pauses for breathing and an increasing daytime sleepiness.
Which therapy would you recommend to those affected?
The standard therapy for pathological snoring is the so-called CPAP mask therapy . At night, air is blown into the pharynx via a nasal mask. The air pressure “shuns” the airway and keeps it open. In individual cases – if respiratory only occur in the supine position – even helps a so-called supine prevention vest. Operations in the pharynx should only be performed if anatomically relevant abnormalities justify this, otherwise there is a residual risk for lifelong swallowing and speech disorders .
“He who does not sleep enough becomes sick, stupid, fat and crazy” – is that true?
No, that is disproportionately exaggerated. About 10 percent of the population suffer from chronic sleep-in and sleep-through disorders that have no organic cause. In such mental or stress-related sleep disorders are neither heaped cardiovascular disease nor heaped immune diseases. Seen from a health point of view, the psyche and quality of life suffers here above all. Has been scientifically proven in this form of insomnia but a greatly increased risk , on a depression cancer.
So too little sleep is at least not life threatening, right?
Yes and no! If you are completely exhausted and sleepy driving a car, then the risk of fatal accidents is known to be great. A chronic lack of sleep as such, without additional stress factors such as the pathological snoring, but is taken alone physically harmless, mentally, however, a pain!
Why do you sometimes wake up at night and begin to roll over problems?
At night it is dark and you have little distraction. As a result, even small things are perceived as particularly large. In addition, the physical milieu in the second half of the night causes us to have a particularly depressive toned thinking. In the second half of the night, most stress hormones in the body are released during the 24-hour day. At the same time, the sleep pressure is already largely reduced by the preceding three to four hours of sleep. But the biological rhythm is still “in the cellar”. At the same time you are well rested, inactivated and stressed.
How should I behave in order to escape the thought carousel and find sleep again?
Attempting to stop thinking usually does the opposite. It is better to build an inner distance to your own thoughts, to move away and not to take your own thoughts so seriously. Stop like annoying acquaintances who visit you whenever you can not use them. So-called mindfulness training can help to practice this inner serenity. Also helpful: Keep a diary in the evenings, saying, “What was bad today?”, “What was good today?” And “What should I consider tomorrow?”. This reduces the influence of the daily experiences on the autonomic nervous system and can help to switch off better at night. And if everything does not help and the thoughts still persistently circling: light on and distract, for example, by reading.