Sustainably increase quality of life

Sleep in focus

At the Park Igls Health Center – in keeping with its name – the focus is on health, both physical and psychological. The focus is on healthy nutrition, conscious exercise and profound regeneration, combined with traditional early diagnostics according to F. X. Mayr and the latest conventional medical methods.

Modern Mayr therapy cleanses the body and mind and strengthens the immune system. In combination with targeted and conscious tension and relaxation phases as well as various therapy offers, the aim is to regain one’s (mental) balance in order to strengthen one’s resilience, i.e. one’s psychological resistance. During the treatment period, one thing almost always becomes an issue: sleep, which is not always good during the stay due to being generally thin-skinned and the detoxification processes in the body. But even apart from that, sleep disorders and their treatment play a role at Park Igls. A mobile sleep laboratory is available to determine the causes and make a diagnosis, and help is provided with sleep coaching or hypo-acupuncture, among other things.



People spend around one third of their lives sleeping. There is no known species in the world that does not sleep, although all living things do so in different ways. So sleep can’t be that wrong, even if it’s actually nonsense in terms of evolutionary biology: we close our eyes, lose awareness of the outside world, our sense of space and time, see things that aren’t there, and can’t defend ourselves, feed ourselves, or reproduce during this time. Still, we need to sleep.
Healthy sleep not only regenerates the body, it is also a prerequisite for a functioning brain. Around a quarter of all Austrians suffer from problems sleeping at night. This is not necessarily a problem, but it can become one. We spoke with Dr. Peter Gartner, medical director of Park Igls, and clinical neuro- and health psychologist Mag. Dr. Melanie Robertson on when to take action on sleep disorders, dreaming, and why you should only use your bed for sleeping (and having sex in it, if need be).

Sleep disorders have now become a disease of civilisation. Now everyone has a bad night's sleep once in a while, but when is it time to get help?

Melanie Robertson: First and foremost, it depends on the subjective level of suffering. If someone sleeps little but does not feel negatively affected by it, there is no need for treatment. However, as soon as the quality of life begins to suffer, it is worthwhile to start an intervention and seek help.

Peter Gartner: In general, a distinction is made in sleep disorders between falling asleep and staying asleep. Especially in the case of the latter, the problem is often not apparent, because no one actually sleeps through the whole night. Examinations in the sleep laboratory make it clear how often one wakes up during the night. As a rule, people have forgotten about it in the morning, but there are people who are more aware of this waking up and who then have the feeling of sleeping badly.

Melanie Robertson: It is therefore important for us to provide our patients with the appropriate information. Not waking up at all during night sleep would be completely abnormal, only very few people experience that. Knowing this, in turn, often helps take the pressure off the issue. After all, the mere expectation at bedtime that you won’t be able to sleep through the night anyway leads to stress for many. Consequently, the fear of anxiety leads to actual sleep problems. It is important to break out of this vicious circle.


How can sleep disorders be treated professionally?

Melanie Robertson: Once all physical and neurological causes have been ruled out, sleep coaching is a wonderful way to improve sleep quality. In the course of this, knowledge about sleep is imparted, and we provide tools that can often be used to achieve a great deal just by making small changes in behaviour. For persistent sleep disorders, temporary medication can provide sleep stimulation. These days, there are preparations that are already completely broken down again by the body after four to six hours, but of course the research into the cause and subsequent treatment remain the preferred method. It often doesn’t take much effort to determine the root cause. Two or three sessions can already change things and make a lot of progress.

Peter Gartner: If sleep coaching alone is not enough, we offer so-called hypno-acupuncture on our premises, a combination of medical hypnosis and acupuncture. The latter is about balancing the energy flows in the body, while hypnosis deals with the psyche. The patient is put into a state of trance in order to consequently penetrate their unconscious. This controls, among other things, our sleep-wake rhythm and if the subconscious – simply put – has understood that you can sleep if you want to, it can help a lot.

Why do we need to sleep at all?

Melanie Robertson: Sleep is primarily for resting the body and mind and regenerating the psyche. Especially during the night, many processing procedures take place – primarily in our dreams.

Do dreams say anything about our sleep quality?

Melanie Robertson: No. And even if they are upsetting dreams, they are important. These also do not necessarily indicate a serious problem, but are part of this processing. Ultimately, the only thing that says something about the quality of sleep is how you feel the next day.

Zimmer im Park Igls

How much sleep is normal?

Melanie Robertson: The question is not so much what is “normal” in general, but whether you personally get enough sleep. Sleep quality is often confused with sleep quantity. There are people who get by fine on five hours of sleep. If they feel fit and rested the next day, there is no need to change anything. However, if you have an increased need for sleep during the day, have difficulty concentrating, almost fall asleep during monotonous work or while driving, it becomes a problem. Actual sleep deprivation, i.e. when someone sleeps less than their body, brain and psyche need, can promote obesity, lead to high blood pressure and weaken the immune system in the long term, which can result in a variety of other diseases. In addition, lack of sleep has a negative effect on the psyche and can even lead to depression.

Peter Gartner: Actual sleep disorders definitely need to be treated. For this purpose, sleep quality can be measured by means of polysomnography in the sleep laboratory, in which, for example, the oxygen saturation in the blood is observed during sleep. If blood pressure and pulse are in the normal range, alternating brain activity is measurable, and a certain number of sleep cycles have been completed, it can be objectively said that it looks like it was a restful sleep. But even then, the decisive factor remains the subjective sensation. By the way, sleep laboratory examinations are also recommended for snoring. This in itself is not a big problem and many times – mostly for the partner – simply annoying. It becomes critical in the case of so-called sleep apnea, in which partial pauses in breathing occur during sleep.

Melanie Robertson: Many people feel they sleep poorly and are awake for long periods, especially in the second half of the night. The second half of the night is actually the one in which we have a predominantly light sleep. Again, it can be quite helpful to have a sleep lab examine whether you are actually not sleeping or just feel like you aren’t. What I completely advise against, on the other hand, are sleep apps. Please delete them immediately! Sleep should be something natural. There are people for whom the subjective feeling in the morning is a good one, but the app says you haven’t slept enough or have been awake too long, and you already have the feeling that something has gone wrong.


You can find more information and interesting facts about Modern Mayr Medicine and its positive effect on your health in our section Modern Mayr Medicine – news from the world of medicine and science.