Sleep disorders

Sleep disturbance (insomnia) is a pathological condition characterized by insufficient duration and poor sleep quality over an extended period. Sleep disorders occur in 15-20% of people worldwide.

Lack of sleep negatively affects the mental and physical state of a person. So, chronic sleep disturbance leads to a deterioration in short-term and long-term memory, reduces a person’s ability to learn, increases the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke, and causes metabolic disorders. Sleep disorders worsen with age, so this pathology is more common among older people.

The main criterion for the quality of sleep is the well-being of a person immediately after waking up. People with sleep problems feel weak after waking up, in a bad mood, and have a breakdown, and it is difficult for them to perform their professional and household duties.

The pathological condition is classified according to several factors, depending on the causes, clinical presentation, and duration. Taking into account the duration of insomnia, there are transient (lasting several nights), short-term (from two to three days to several weeks), and chronic (more than a month).

In addition, sleep disorders are classified as follows:

  • insomnia (difficulty falling asleep, restless sleep);
  • hypersomnia (excessive daytime sleepiness or excessive nighttime sleep);
  • snoring and sleep apnea syndrome (during sleep apnea, there is a slowdown and cessation of nasal breathing for more than 10 seconds; snoring can contribute to impaired breathing during sleep);
  • late sleep syndrome (late falling asleep and late awakening, more often due to a violation of the daily regimen).

The reasons

A variety of causes and factors influence the development of sleep disorders. More often, these disorders affect people with a physiological predisposition, who have experienced psychological trauma or have a history of diseases of the central nervous system and PNS, internal organs. Insomnia occurs against the background of depressive conditions, panic attacks, and nephrotic disorders.

The most common causes and factors that cause sleep disorders include:

  • diseases of internal organs that cause unpleasant symptoms in the form of shortness of breath, soreness, and discomfort in the region of the heart (hypertension, atherosclerotic changes, pleurisy, pneumonia, etc.);
  • pathology of the central nervous system (epilepsy attacks, neoplasms of the brain);
  • abuse of alcohol and coffee;
  • uncontrolled use of psychotropic drugs;
  • harmful production factors.


Insomnia is characterized by regularly recurring complaints associated with a sleep disorder. If we highlight the most common clinical signs, they include:

  • prolonged difficulty falling asleep (parasomnia);
  • frequent awakening during the night, superficial sleep (insomnia);
  • early awakening, feeling tired and weak, lack of vigor (postsomnia);
  • deterioration in performance, ability to learn.


The treatment process is developed after differential diagnosis and clarification of all present symptoms. Therapy is based on methods aimed primarily at eliminating the leading cause of insomnia.

Depending on the etiological factors that cause sleep disorders, modern methods of conservative therapy are used:

  • classes with a psychotherapist, psychologist;
  • treatment of the underlying disease (somatic, mental);
  • drug therapy (the use of sleeping pills and melatonin strictly according to the scheme, which is prescribed individually for each patient);
  • assistance in the normalization of sleep hygiene (correction of diet and lifestyle to restore and maintain sleep quality);
  • phototherapy;
  • if pharmacotherapy affects the night sleep disorder, treatment is corrected, or drugs are completely canceled;
  • translingual neurostimulation.


Rehabilitation measures are the most critical element in ensuring good sleep restoration. In this case, special attention is paid to sleep hygiene. It implies that an individual daily routine is developed for the patient, normalizing a good sleep and restoring the work of biological rhythms.

In Kliniken Schmieder, a rehabilitation program is compiled for each patient individually and combines a range of measures to solve the problem. The most appropriate and effective methods of rehabilitation include:

  • Psychotherapy – cognitive-behavioral therapy is used, thanks to which it is possible to improve the psycho-emotional well-being of the patient and eliminate depressive states and anxiety. In most cases, a competent approach from a psychotherapist allows you to restore a night’s sleep as effectively as sleeping pills.
    Massage, therapeutic exercises – relaxing massage techniques help to relax muscle tissues, eliminate mental and physical stress, helping to improve night sleep.
  • Physiotherapy helps to strengthen the body and improves its functionality, thereby improving the functioning of the parts of the brain responsible for sleep.
  • Acupuncture aims to improve the body’s adaptive capabilities, reducing the impact of stress factors.
  • Meditation and yoga exercises help relax the body, provide even deep breathing, and overcome psycho-emotional stress.

In addition to these methods, encephalophony (“music of the brain”), figurative thinking training, biofeedback, diet, and other effective rehabilitation measures can be used.

The main task of specialists is restoring good sleep and solving the leading cause of insomnia. The selected rehabilitation methods entirely depend on sleep disorders, the patient’s age, and other body characteristics.

Sleep disorders are being treated in our dedicated Centre for Sleep Medicine. Click here to read all about it.