Sleep is essential to life. when we sleep, we not only regenerate our body, but also process information and our psychological state.
Our immune system is particularly active during sleep. The liver breaks down toxins and processes essential nutrients. Many other important bodily processes can only be carrie out in this special resting phase.
Interview with Dr Harry F. König and Dr Yusuf Yildrim.
How does too little sleep affect our health, body, mind and skin?
Dr König: Too little sleep initially leads to increased psychological strain and a higher level of susceptibility to stress. It also has a negative effect on a wide range of body functions. This can result in complaints such asintestinal disorders, intensification of chronic inflammation and even psychiatric conditions. Sensitivity to pain is also increased.
Dr Yildirim: Beauty sleep isn’t just a myth, it’s a real phenomenon. Many regeneration processes take place during sleep. The deep sleep phase is when most growth hormones are produced, which act as messengers for cell renewal. This is why your skin gets thinner if you don’t get enough sleep. Thiscan be first seen in the rings you get around your eyes.
How many hours of sleep do you recommend?
Dr König: This varies a lot between individuals. It’s recommended that you regularly get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Oversleeping is a problem we often see. This means sleeping for too long.
Do you have any tips for the period of time before you go to sleep?
Dr Yildirim: Bedtime rituals are a great way of suggesting to the subconscious that it’s time to go to sleep. In addition, you should avoid exercise and alcohol in the evening.
Dr König: During the day, make sure you exercise enough and keep the temperature of your bedroom between 15 and 18 degrees. It’s also important to only eat light meals in the evening and ban all screens from the bedroom.
What about napping?
Dr König: A nap of less than 15 minutes can extend your lifespan (power napping). However, this sleep phase shouldn’t last any more than a maximum of 30 minutes, otherwise this will affect your sleep at night.
Does it help to catch up on lost sleep from the week at weekends?
Dr Yildirim: It is important to develop a regular sleeping pattern for restful sleep. Research studies carried out at the University of Colorado Boulder have shown that the negative effects of sleep deprivation during the week cannot be counteracted by having a lie-in at the weekend.