The German “Day of sleep” takes place on the 21st of June, the longest day of the year. This campaign day was launched in the year 2000 by an association under the same name in order to call attention to the significance of sleep with regard to health.Sleep disorders are on the rise in Germany and Austria. Around 30% of all Austrians suffer with sleep disorders. The figure in Germany is even higher at 45%. This result was revealed by a study commissioned by the Salzburg mattress manufacturer Wenatex in 2013. According to this survey, the main causes are stress (Austria 45.1% and Germany 51.7%) mental stress (Austria 52% and Germany 57%). Those concerned suffer from daytime tiredness, lack of concentration and lack of coodination and stated that they often have to repeat natural everyday motions. Other results caused by sleep disorders are bad moods, mood swings and lack of motivation. Hence, poor sleep also has an indirect negative effect on the private and professional life of those concerned.
Sleep disorders: a great challenge for medicine
Sleep research experts, such as University Professor Dr. Manfred Walzl, neurologist and chairman of the sleep research department at the Landesnervenklinik (Psychiatric Clinic) “Sigmund Freud” in Graz, have been warning about the consequences of too little sleep for years. “Too little sleep has extremely negative effects on the immune system and the probability of catching an infection increases. Even the metabolism, the cardio-vascular system and the ability to learn are strongly influenced. Sufficient sleep is an absolute prerequisite for physical, mental and emotional health.” he explains. In addition to this, sleep disorders are also considered to be one of the main causes of severe traffic accidents. The Wold Health Organisation presents an alarming prediction for the furure. It declares that sleep disorders will be counted among the four greatest medical challenges for the next 50 years.
Professor Dr. Walzl is the author of the guidebook “Komm, süßer Schlaf”. Together with Dr. Cornelia Windisch, he adresses around 100 of the currently known kinds of sleep disorder and the respective therapeutic measures. The guidebook is written in an easy to understand language and, in addition to comprehensive information about the various types of sleep disorder, it contains self tests and lots of practical self-help tips.