In our modern performance society, characteristics such as "mobility" and "flexibility" are increasingly required. Regardless of our natural need for sleep and rest, we adapt our way of life more and more to the technology. Production and service processes need to be maintained around the clock to keep expensive machines busy and to make daily necessities available all over the world.
Man gets tired, the machine does not
Despite all mechanization, humans usually play an important, controlling role. "It is often ignored that machines work non-stop, while humans have biological limits: they get tired, but the machine does not." Jürgen Zulley, Head of the Sleep Medicine Center at the University of Regensburg.
"Microsleep" - high dark digit
If the natural need for sleep and rest is ignored, the consequences are often grave. Especially when fatigued people use machines or sit behind the wheel of motor vehicles. Almost every car driver knows the problem "microsleep". Nevertheless, this phenomenon is difficult to grasp in the statistics, because "who admits to be happy that he has caused an accident because of falling asleep at the wheel, " said Johannes Th. Hübner, Automobile Club of Germany eV (AvD), "The popular explanation is then often human error. "
Experts believe that fatigue accounts for 15-20% of all transport accidents. It is thus the most common detectable cause of accidents and exceeds the number of accidents caused by alcohol and drugs. The economic damage caused by fatigue-related accidents is high, in Germany it is estimated at 10 billion euros per year.
Healthy sleep is vital
However, the consequences of irregular sleep times, shorter sleep duration and non-restorative sleep are not only reflected in the accident and damage statistics. Good sleep is a central and extremely underestimated basic human need and essential for maintaining full performance, concentration and responsiveness. The mobile 24-hour company is a sensitive distraction to our natural sleeping behavior. A person who sleeps poorly not only reduces his condition and quality of life during the day.
Chronic sleep disorders can have fatal long-term consequences leading to high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, gastrointestinal disorders, cancer and psychiatric disorders, such as depression. In this context, sleep apnea (respiratory arrest during sleep) should be mentioned as an important sleep disorder.
Sleep disorders need better care
More recent studies assume that in Germany alone 10% of the population suffer from insomnia requiring treatment. Nevertheless, sleep disorders are commonly regarded as a triviality and are often not mentioned at the doctor's visit. Only one-third of those who suffer from treatment-impaired sleep disorder (6% of the population) talk to a doctor about it. Nevertheless, the expenses in the statutory health insurance for these funds are considerable.
The problem: Sleeping pills are often taken uncritically for a long time, while the root cause is not properly addressed. A fundamentally new approach in dealing with sleep and performance is the focus on the actual criteria for a restful sleep. "Sleep quality and the time of sleep characterize restful sleep, but less the duration of sleep, which is often in the foreground in public, " says Prof. Dr. med. Zulley.