Sleep is the cheapest health care

If you rest well, you have won the jackpot. Because healthy sleep is a prerequisite for a fit, productive and happy life. Unfortunately, this is no longer self-evident today. What happens: If you are wrong, you may incur long-term health problems. And the bad position also has an effect on beauty. By regularly resting on one side and the associated pressure, wrinkles will impress deeper there. Shiatsu therapist Susanne Siokola-Tomandl and sleep doctor Dr. med. Michael Saletu explains the consequences of sleeping positions, how to grow up with sleep problems, and why sleep hygiene is so important. Plus: Tips for the right mattress.

Refuse collection comes in deep sleep

Yes, we know: blissfully sleeping through is the only true fact, but waking up in between is quite normal. "It can happen up to 20 times a night, but if you're under 3 minutes, we usually can not remember," explains Saletu. This happens, for example, during the transition from one sleep stage to the next. Because our night's sleep is cyclical, in about 90-minute stages. These each consist of light and deep sleep and dream phase. In the first hours, deep sleep takes a lot of time. As the body recovers, releases growth hormones that boost the immune system, the detoxification is in full swing, skin, hair, bones grow, the cells are repaired. Information goes from short-term to long-term memory. The body shuts down, the heartbeat is slower, the breathing is long and deep, we consume little energy. The longer we rest, the shorter these deep sleep sections become, until they completely disappear shortly before waking up. For this it comes increasingly to the REM phase, in which we dream. Now the body processes experiences during the day, motor learning is announced. The energy consumption of the body and brain is similar to when we are awake, but we are almost motionless. When you wake up there, you often have the feeling that you can not move.

The good rest before midnight

By the way, a common perception is that sleep before midnight is more relaxing and thus better. But that's a mistake, like Dr. Saletu emphasizes, "Sleep always follows the same rhythm, no matter when you go to bed, and it does not help to lie down when you're not tired, and sleep pressure comes from how long we've been awake." The body follows two different cycles. The homeostatic and the circadian. The first one lasts about 24 hours, from bedtime to bedtime. Lying down much earlier does not help much as you are not sufficiently tired. That's why we can not sleep. If you are sufficiently recovered, you wake up by yourself again. People who fall asleep should not go to bed until they are really tired. "Just because the bedtime is extended, you do not sleep anymore, on the contrary, being awake is just awake," says Saletu. The second rhythm our body follows is the circadian. This is determined by light. In the dark, more of the sleep hormone melatonin is released. At about three o'clock in the morning, which is the same for all people, the melatonin goes down and the cortisol level rises, the body becomes more active. This rhythm is now well researched, and in 2017 the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded.

Sleep hygiene is half the battle

Every fourth person in Austria has sleep problems. Incidentally, they are independent of the length of the night's sleep. More important is the individual daily condition, which results from it. One should feel fit, active, emotionally balanced. On average, this is the case after at least seven hours. Problems are defined here as having difficulty sleeping or staying asleep at least three times a week over a period of three months. But it does not have to be that intense right away. Two or three bad nights are enough to make you feel like a wheelchair. "The taste in the mouth after waking up is bad, one has swollen eyes, is quite stiff, which is clearly a sign of bad detoxification due to too little deep sleep," says Shiatsu therapist Siokola. It is all the more important to have good habits that will not let bad sleep come to an end. The top priority, as Saletu and Siokola agree, is mobile and tablet ban in the bedroom. Also the TV should stay outside. The damage namely multiple times: The body gets used to long guard times. The consequent posture permanently burdens the spine. Sleeping with the TV on will eliminate any chance for proper deep sleep. You take the problems of the world to bed and can not switch off properly. And the blue light that these devices emit reduces the production of melatonin, instead releasing more cortisol. By the way, it also has a negative effect on the love life. Anyone who is busy with the Facebook and Insta feed of other people has less desire for their own Sch ferst ndchen. As far as sleep hygiene is concerned, the room is reasonably tidy. If you are in the middle of chaos, you will find it harder to calm down. Before bedtime should be aired again, 18 degrees room temperature are ideal. In addition, both experts recommend bedding and night clothes made of natural fibers. Dr. Saletu: "You sweat quite a lot during the night, synthetic fibers inhibit temperature equilibration and sweat dries badly."

So is the relaxed peace

It is not difficult to improve sleep, says Siokola: "Do not eat anything for two hours before going to bed, especially no carbohydrates, insulin levels are already low, and there is room for the growth hormones, as well as for alcohol 'That's basically sugar.' Regular exercise lowers cortisol levels. "It does not have to be much – walking for 15 minutes is a miracle." Finally, the sleeping position makes a lot. The therapist recommends removing tension from the body: "Walk barefoot for a few minutes in the evening on a broomstick that is lying flat on the floor, or massage your feet together to relax your entire body put your hands on your stomach and breathe in five times deep, and a small stomach massage is also good, preferably with gentle, steady clockwise pressure. " You have back problems? Put a pillow under your bottom for a few minutes and put your legs up. Then put it under the thoracic spine and stretch your arms over your head. This takes tension from the shoulders. Finally, Siokola has a practical tip for parents, to which the children often come at night: "Enlarge the bed, which makes much more sense than constantly sleeping badly because of too little space."

The sleeping positions

On the back
This location is very good. The organs are unloaded, and even in the face everything is smooth, so imprint no wrinkles. However, many do not feel comfortable with it, they need more protection. Malpositions can also lead to low back pain. Shiatsu therapist Susanne Siokola advises adding a support pillow to the hollows of the knees. Often the neck also overstretches because the shoulders are pulled forward by tension. This, as well as snoring, which is the strongest in this situation, can lead to sleep apnea, ie short pauses in breathing. Another reason is being overweight, as the stomach presses on the organs. Laterally
So you are ideal. The spine gets into its natural position and relaxes. The pad should be so high that the least possible pressure on the shoulder and the cervical spine in a neutral line. Whether left or right side, is individual. If one side hurts, just choose the other. Sleeping on the right shoulder, the heart region is free of pressure, the stomach contents can drain. If you suffer from heartburn, it is better left. Then the stomach acid can not escape so easily. That Siokola also recommends pregnant women. So you do not overdo in your sleep, she also advises to a special Seitschl ferkissen. prone
This position ensures a strong feeling of protection. However, it is anatomically the worst. In the cervical spine is an important nerve network. Due to the twisted posture facial nerves and vessels are under heavy pressure. In the long term, this can cause postural damage. The circulation also suffers. The pressure also leads in the long run to deeper wrinkling on one side. Especially bad for people with problems in the cervical spine.

This is how you find the right mattress

Are you side sleepers? "Then you need a very adaptable model, a zone mattress that sinks a bit more in the shoulder and pelvic area," explains Renate Huber, Head of Bed & Bath at specialists Betten Reiter. For back sleepers it recommends a model with variable degree of hardness, which supports in the Lendenzone. "Abdominal sleepers, on the other hand, need a slightly firmer model so that the middle of the body does not sag." From a mattress for all needs, she advises rather. And which material is ideal? Again, individual preferences determine. Products made of latex are generally a bit heavier and not so easy to care for, but made of natural material. The most common are cold foam core mattresses, as they are particularly adaptable through different cutting techniques. Spring mattresses are due to the box spring beds in the march. Here you have to pay particular attention to regular ventilation. By the way, the life span of a mattress is about eight years, after which it is too polluted by sweat, dust, dander and house dust mites.