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Chronic insomnia (sleep disorder) is said to occur when sufferers fail to get sleep at least three nights in a row (and more frequently) per week for a period longer than six months. The rest phase is used by the brain to process impressions of the day and to separate the important from the unimportant.
Our brain needs sleep to regenerate and process information and transfer it to long-term memory. Almost one of three Germans regularly suffers from problems falling asleep or sleeping through the night. The (long-term) consequences are severe and range from exhaustion and fatigue during the day to weakening of the immune system and reduced stress resistance.
The pressure of suffering is high, as everyday life can often no longer be mastered due to nightly sleep disturbances and the associated fatigue. The fear of not being able to sleep again quickly leads sufferers into a vicious circle that leaves both physical and psychological traces. If those affected are not adequately treated in time, chronic insomnia can lead to depression, among other things.
To improve the quality of sleep as quickly as possible, sufferers quickly turn to sleep pills, which can help in acute phases. Long-term efficacy studies, however, indicate that certain sleep aids can lead to long-term dependence or further promote sleep disorders. Learn more in our patient information on sleep disorders
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Those affected by a sleep disorder suffer from numerous different symptoms:
The reasons for chronic insomnia are manifold, and usually, there is more than one underlying cause. Over time, the actual trigger often becomes less significant, but the sleep disorder persists because it has already manifested itself.
The duration and expression of healthy sleep vary significantly from person to person and change from time to time. Therefore, treatment and therapy of sleep onset and sleep maintenance disorders at LIMES Schlossklinik Mecklenburgische Schweiz are based on the specific cause of our patients.
Above all, it is crucial to uncover the true causes of poor sleep! Whether caused by external or internal factors, by physical or mental illnesses – the causal factors of sleep disorders are complex and can go back a long way. With the help of various diagnostic methods, patients are supported with understanding their complaints better.
In our private clinic, the treatment of sleep disorders consists of a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. If sleep disorders occur as a symptom of mental illness, the entire disorder is treated accordingly. The most important part of the treatment of sleep disorders is the teaching and implementation of sleep hygiene. This includes maintaining regular sleeping hours, comfortable sleeping conditions, abstaining from alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine, a balanced diet, and physical exercise. Sleep and dream diaries encourage self-observation and provide information on starting points for strategies to improve sleep.
In personal psychotherapeutic consultations as well as lectures and group therapies, information on chronic insomnia is conveyed, individual triggers are elicited, and strategies for improving sleep are developed. Furthermore, learning relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, yoga or qigong promotes the ability to relax and inner balance.
Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques such as thought stopping to consciously interrupt rumination, cognitive focusing to concentrate on pleasant feel-good thoughts, or stimulus control to deal with negative conditioning associated with falling asleep are essential coping strategies for sleep-impeding factors.