Summary

In the western and eastern industrial countries, the number of sleep disturbed subjects increased over the time. Undiagnosed and untreated, sleep disorders caused on one hand often by subjective suffering among those affected individuals and on the other hand, due to decreased attention and increased daytime fatigue or daytime sleepiness, to an increased risk of accidents in road traffic and workplace (e.g. Peter et al. 1995, Gerdesmeyer et al. 1997, Randerath et al. 1997, 1998, Büttner et al. 2000a/b).

Sleep Apnea syndromes are common disorders. 1-5% of the population is affected by it (men are about ten times more affected than women). In particular, patients with OSAS suffer in addition to their symptoms often also on a multitude of sequelae, including excessive daytime sleepiness (Büttner et al. 2004e), vigilance decrease (Büttner et al. 2003b, 2004c) and memory disorders (Büttner et al. 2003c/ d).

These performance restrictions or impairments affect the affected subjects, both professionally and in their ability to drive motor vehicles (Findley et al. 1988a/b, 1989b, 1990, 1991, 1995, Mitler et al. In 1988, Cassel et al. 1991a/b, 1993, 1996 , ATS 1994, Gerdesmeyer et al. 1997, Krieger et al. 1997, Randerath et al. 1997, 1998, 2000, Weeß 1997, Weeß et al. 1998a/b, Büttner et al. 2000a/b, Büttner 2001). Consequences of this reduced performance are therefore often accidents or nearly accidents by falling asleep at the wheel. However, other cognitive and mental functions and the quality of life can be affected by sleep disorders (Sleep Apnea Syndrome, Insomnia and/or Narcolepsy).

In summary therefore, can be said that sleep disorders and/or sleep diseases are complex disorders which human beings can affect in his totality and in his whole personality. It can therefore affect all physical, mental and spiritual processes. It can lead to lower physical and mental performances; reduce vigilance, impaired attention and concentration. It can affect the quality of life, reduce, limit and/or prevent social contacts and competencies skills, and cause in other psychiatric5, neurological6 and organic7 diseases.

A detailed sleep diagnostics and possibly therapy of previously known sleep disorders and/or sleep diseases is therefore essential to prevent complications and comorbidities, to prevent treatment resistance with respect to other physical and mental diseases and to provide effective medical treatment.

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