Sleep and sleep disorders

  1. Sleep
  2. Sleep disorders
  3. When should an (ENT) specialist be consulted?


  1. Sleep is a vital process for the regulation and regeneration of bodily functions. It takes place in different phases: Light sleep, deep sleep, dream sleep (also known as REM sleep). These phases repeat about 4-5 times per night, accompanied by a period of falling asleep and waking up once or several times (up to 20 minutes of wakefulness).

  2. The most frequent disturbances are falling asleep and staying asleep (e.g. tossing and turning until falling asleep, waking up or being startled during the night, longer periods of wakefulness). In addition, daytime sleepiness, sleep attacks in monotonous situations, restless legs syndrome (urge to move the legs), nocturnal breathing pauses - lasting seconds to a few minutes (sleep apnoea syndrome) - can occur. The word "syndrome" is important here - it means: concomitant symptom of other diseases. To find out the causes of this phenomenon, you should consult your family doctor or an ENT specialist if necessary.

  3. If sleep disturbances only occur from time to time, they may be situational. There may be a stressful work or family situation, excitement before an exam, an unfamiliar sleeping environment. However, if the sleep disturbances persist over a longer period of time and put a strain on the quality of work and life (lack of concentration, bad mood, anxiety, irritability), medical help is advisable.
    First, an attempt is made to determine the causes of the sleep disorder through a comprehensive discussion with the doctor. This includes an ENT examination and other diagnostic procedures > see Sleep apnoea
    Together with the patient, an individual therapy is then found that can show the way back to healthy and restful sleep.


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