5 tips how you can sleep more restfully from now on

You actually sleep quite well, but are you often tired during the day? With these 5 tips you will sleep more effectively and wake up more relaxed.

D u sleep quickly and lie at night not awake. You rarely have a nightmare and no pauses in breathing while snoring. In short: you sleep wonderfully.

And yet you don’t get out of bed in the morning, are rarely really awake during the day – regardless of how long you slept during the night? The case is clear: you sleep ineffectively! We explain how you can get more out of less sleep for your well-being.

In this article:

  • Can you sleep wrong?
  • Why is deep sleep so important?
  • How do you use sleep cycles for better sleep?
  • When does the deep sleep phase take place?
  • 5 tips to extend the deep sleep phase

Can you sleep “wrong”?

“Yes, you can actually sleep too long and at the wrong times,” says Professor Jürgen Zulley from the University of Regensburg, author and director of the “Sleep School”. Either way, you may have had enough sleep and still feel mushy.

Because it is not the number of hours spent in bed that ensures a really restful sleep. Rather, you have to follow your individual sleep rhythm. To find out, you have to know the architecture of sleep. It consists of different cycles that differ in the activity of the brain:

  1. During the sleep phase, the body relaxes, breathing becomes calmer, but sleep is still so light that you can easily be awakened from it.
  2. In the following light sleep phase, brain activity sinks to a low frequency, consciousness is switched off. When the body has reached the first deep sleep phase after around 20 to 30 minutes, and also the longest, which lasts around an hour , the body and mind are maximally relaxed.
  3. After a while you emerge from deep sleep and experience dreamy REM sleep (rapid eye movement). The brain activity accelerates considerably. Sleep researchers assume that information and emotional impressions from the waking time are processed during REM sleep.

Then it goes down again. During the night, deep sleep and REM phases alternate about 4 to 6 times, with the deep sleep phases becoming shorter and shorter and the REM phases longer. A sleep cycle is the cycle through all sleep stages, each of which lasts about 90 minutes. Our expert explains below how you can use these cycles optimally for your well-being.

Why is deep sleep so important?

The muscles are maximally relaxed in deep sleep. The EEG curve, which shows brain activity, is characterized by a calm wave pattern with deep valleys. The body also releases growth hormones, which stimulate the regeneration of all body cells and strengthen the immune system.

How can you use the sleep cycles for better sleep?

The most important requirement for getting up effortlessly: Let your alarm go off at the end of a cycle. Because if he brings you out of deeper sleep, the day becomes difficult. A cycle usually lasts about 90 minutes, but because the first is a little shorter, you will reach the most light sleep waking stages in five and a half, seven and eight and a half hours (plus approximate time to fall asleep) . If you’re still in the middle of vivid dreams when the alarm goes off, add a few more minutes to your sleep time the next day.

Tip: Do not use the snooze button on the alarm clock. You are just repeating the agony of being awakened and falling into a restless sleep that costs more energy than it brings.

When does the deep sleep phase take place?

Do you sleep in accordance with your cycles? Well! It’s even better if the rhythm is right. Your internal clock controls all biological rhythms. At night she pushes the release of the sleep hormone melatonin, at morning that of the wakefulness cortisol. In addition, it regulates the body temperature so that the lowest value is reached around three o’clock at night. “Biologically speaking, it’s the witching hour, that’s when you feel most uncomfortable when you’re awake,” says Zulley.

” The particularly restful deep sleep takes place in the first 5 hours and before 3 o’clock .” So if you stay up until well after midnight, you can forget the best quality sleep, even if you sleep until noon.

But don’t make the mistake of going to bed too early because you have to get out earlier or want to be particularly fit. This only works if you fall asleep straight away due to lack of sleep. More likely, you will lie awake, brooding, and sleep tense and restless. Because pre-sleeping doesn’t work anyway, you should go to bed at the usual time (note the cycle!) And make up for lost sleep by going to bed earlier the next night and taking a nap.

How do I extend my deep sleep?

What exactly can you do now to improve the quality of your sleep? With these 5 strategies you can get more rest with less sleep:

1. Make sure you sleep regularly : If you want to make the most of the hours in bed, you have to go to bed and – more importantly – get up at about the same time each day. Sounds stuffy, but unfortunately deep sleep in particular reacts sensitively to an unsteady life. The internal clock loves fixed habits because it is imprecise itself. This is not a design flaw, but necessary in order to adapt to changed conditions (longer summer days, new time zones).

Background: For most people, the internal day would be 25 hours long if sunlight did not keep the internal clock in rhythm. In the evening and morning types (technical jargon: owls and larks), the sleep-wake rhythm is up to 2 hours longer (owls) or shorter than 25 hours. In order to stay in time, your internal clock is even more dependent on external timers, especially bright light, contacts and regularity.

Even if you could manage your time freely, that can’t be brushed aside. Clocking sleeping and waking up to 24 hours is less of a social obligation than the strict 24-hour rhythm of body temperature.

If you see too little sun and live unsteadily, the two most important inner rhythms can diverge. The result: At some point you want to be active when it is witching hour for the body temperature. You freeze, feel energized and ill-tempered. Later on, you’ll be in bed when the temperature is on and you won’t get a good night’s sleep. On the other hand, a little regularity looks like the lesser evil, doesn’t it?

2. Take a nap on the weekend: on weekdays you are consistent, but on the weekend you don’t get out of bed. The internal clock reacts quickly to such a shift backwards. The harder it is for you to get up, the earlier you have to get out and the longer you stay in bed on the weekend, the harder you will pay for it on Monday. Better: Get up at about the same time on the weekend, treat yourself to a little nap as a luxury or go to bed earlier if you lack sleep. This is how you can have a relaxing power nap.

3. Make sure there is enough sunlight: Some can afford a little more irregularity with impunity if they expose themselves to bright light at the right time. However, normal lighting with a maximum of 400 lux does not work. The sun creates 1,500 to 100,000 lux. “Anyone who spends an hour outdoors before work is livelier during the day,” says chronobiologist Zulley.

If that doesn’t work, you can have artificial sunlight at the breakfast table or in the office after getting up . “For a positive effect, 10,000 lux must work for half an hour or 2,500 lux for two hours,” says sleep doctor Hans-Günter Weeß . You can also use it to move your favorite bedtime in small steps. If you want to hold out longer in the evening, you have to expose yourself to the light in the evening.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to iron out all the abuse of the internal clock with the artificial sun. If the system is overused (shift and night work), the bright light helps, but sleep and liveliness will still suffer.

4. Give in to your genes : The fact that there are 3 optimal wake-up times, as mentioned, does not mean that you can choose one. Only real short sleepers get by with 5.5 hours, late risers need 8.5 hours. Most people get along well with 7. It’s genetically determined – you can’t screw it up without paying. “Hardly anyone knows what it is like to be wide awake,” complains Thomas Wehr of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda.

In many experiments, the subjects’ sleep did not level off until they had caught up to 25 hours of sleep. To optimize your sleep, go to bed 1.5 hours earlier every evening for a while – as long as you lack sleep, it will not be difficult for you to fall asleep. Afterwards, always allow yourself as much sleep as you need if possible. Whoever sleeps too little over the long term carries a higher risk of becoming fat, forgetful and sick. After just 14 days with a daily sleep deficit of 2 hours you are as off the track as after a completely awake night.

5. Don’t sleep too much: Those who exceed their personal optimum will only get shallow, restless sleep. “If you oversleep for a very long time, you even fall asleep again in the morning,” says Weeß. “That totally upsets the internal clock, you wake up exhausted.” If, on the other hand, you keep the time in bed short, you will be awake longer, and this will extend the restful deep sleep at the beginning of the night. Not only are you fitter, but you also have more time. What more do you want

Regular bedtime, matching your individual biological rhythm, is the key to relaxed sleep that optimally regenerates the body. Try to compensate for a lack of sleep not by sleeping longer in the morning but by napping at noon. It is not the number of hours that makes healthy sleep, but the optimal sleep rhythm.

Superfood instead of stress: chocolate and cherry crispy balls

Do you feel the same? I always find the last days before Christmas Eve to be the most stressful of the whole year. So many projects that have yet to be completed, Christmas parties, parents’ evenings, gifts that are still missing … I need energy! And now I always have them at hand in the form of these delicious balls. You don’t even have to light up the stove!

The delicious chocolate-cherry crispy balls are part 2 of our baking special with Eva Reinstadler – they are definitely vegan and sugar-free, if you like you can still opt for the gluten-free version. The crispy balls have saved me from some afternoon low in the last few days. Here is the recipe:

Chocolate and cherry crispy balls

Superfood snack for more energy 


30 g pumpkin seeds

40 g dark chocolate (at least 70%)

40 g sour cherries (I’ll take a little more next time, then the balls will be more juicy)

125 g almond butter

3 tbsp honey or agave syrup

125 g oat flakes (for the gluten-free variant, simply use gluten-free adhesive flakes)

4 tbsp raw cocoa nibs (these are broken cocoa beans, you can get them in organic markets – you can read more about cocoa nibs at Project Healthy Living )

60 g spelled bran (also available in well-stocked conventional supermarkets)

pinch of salt


Chop the pumpkin seeds, chocolate and sour cherries into small pieces with a knife. You can also quickly throw pumpkin seeds and chocolate into the electric chopper🙂

Mix the almond butter and honey together and mix with the remaining ingredients.

Knead everything well with your hands!

Shape the mixture into small balls with your hands – this works better if the dough is a little more moist, so I would use more cherries next time. Caution: the dough is difficult to roll, it worked best for me to press individual pieces together firmly.

Then put it in the fridge and enjoy it at short intervals. Six-year-olds also taste surprisingly good – or do I only have a six-year-old here with a special preference for superfood?

Get through the last days of Christmas well, don’t let yourself be stressed and remember not to raise your expectations for Christmas too high – that saves energy!

This helps against nasty blisters in the mouth

Aphthae are painful and annoying. We explain how they are created and how you can quickly get rid of those annoying bubbles in your mouth.

A phthae often come out of nowhere and usually disappear without a trace after a few days. Meanwhile, the nasty little spots in your mouth can make eating and everyday life a pain. This is usually not dangerous, but quite annoying. Our experts explain what you can do with an ulcer in the mouth and when you should see a doctor with it.

What is an aphtha?

An aphtha feels like a painful sore in the mouth. “Actually, it is not a blister, but rather a small, deepened crater in the oral mucosa,” explains dentist Dr. Alexander Engel . This damage to the mucous membrane or ulceration causes the nerve endings to be exposed underneath. That’s why the spot hurts so much when you hit it with your tongue. Because there are a lot of bacteria in the mouth, there can also be a so-called superinfection on the spot, in which bacteria attach themselves to the aphtha and inflame.

In addition to the normal aphthous ulcers, there is also the so-called oral rot , also called herpetic gingivostomatitis in technical terms. The herpes infection causes similar blisters in the mouth and is often associated with a fever. Almost everyone carries the virus, but the disease only breaks out in young children.

When do aphthae heal?

An aphtha hurts a lot, especially when eating. But it is not dangerous and usually goes away on its own. “It is said that aphthae usually come 3 days and go 3 days, after 2 weeks at the latest they have completely disappeared”, explains Engel. During this time you can sometimes see a white point on the spot, this is tissue that is healing again over the aphtha. So don’t worry if you suddenly discover a white, rough spot in your mouth, it’s neither bacteria nor a fungal disease, it’s a good sign.

What causes the damage to the oral mucosa?

It is not yet clear why some people get canker sores every now and then. “They are not contagious, and injuries to the oral mucous membrane area do not cause aphthae”, emphasizes the dermatologist Dr. Erik Senger . However, the dermatologist names some favorable circumstances, such as stress or a lack of B vitamins, folic acid, iron or zinc. If you have celiac disease, gluten can also cause the painful areas in your mouth. But just because you have an aphtha does not necessarily mean that you are missing something and vice versa not every deficiency leads to an ulceration in the mouth. 

There are also connections between aphthae and vascular diseases or autoimmune disorders. People with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, or HIV are often prone to painful blisters in their mouth. But don’t panic, having an aphtha every now and then is quite normal and is by no means a sign of a more serious illness.

Are aphthous ulcers contagious?

No, aphthae are not contagious. Unlike herpes, which is triggered by viruses and is therefore highly contagious, aphthae are damage to the oral mucosa and cannot be transmitted.

Are there also dangerous aphthae?

“If you get a canker sore in your mouth a couple of times a year but it goes away after 14 days, you don’t have to worry,” the dermatologist warned. In very rare cases, however, they can indicate another disease. Therefore, pay attention to the following warning signs in the case of aphthae and, if in doubt, have them examined by a dentist or dermatologist:

  • The aphthous ulcers are very large: Usually the area is only a few millimeters in size, but in some cases it can become significantly larger or they do not heal within 14 days. The pain often severely restricts everyday life, which is why many people go to the doctor with it.
  • You very often get aphthous ulcers: If you are constantly struggling with the painful areas in your mouth, you should have a blood count, because you may have a deficiency or another systemic disease.
  • You have ancestors from Asia: “People with roots from the area of ​​the historic Silk Road, that is, the Near and Middle East and East Asia, have a higher risk of what is known as Behçet’s disease,” explains Senger. This is an autoimmune disease of the blood vessels and manifests itself primarily in recurring aphthous ulcers, but can later affect other areas such as the gastric mucosa or the eyes and have dangerous consequences. Behçet’s disease should therefore definitely be treated.
  • The spots are on the gums: A normal aphtha is usually in the front of the mouth, i.e. on the lips, tongue, in the cheeks or sometimes on the roof of the mouth. “However, there are also mucosal necrosis on the gums or between the teeth, which can be a sign of HIV,” says dentist Dr. Angel. So these are not normal canker sores and you should get them tested by a doctor quickly.

What can you do about aphthae?

Since the cause is not really clear, it is difficult to treat, and the healing itself is difficult to accelerate. However, there are some remedies that can alleviate the annoying pain a little. To help alleviate the symptoms of aphthous ulcers, doctors recommend these things:

  1. Leave the area alone: yes, it is tempting to run your tongue over the area every few seconds to see if it really still hurts. However, if it is constantly irritated, the tissue cannot grow back together as quickly. So pull yourself together and leave the ulcer alone, and it will be gone in a few days. 
  2. Pain Relieving Home Remedies: There are some natural medicinal herbs that can relieve pain and soothe sore spots, such as sage, chamomile, and myrrh. There are special tinctures that you can smear on the affected area, or you can slowly drink a (cooled) tea made from these plants.
  3. Cool foods: Cold can numb the pain a bit, so eat a cool yogurt and drink a cold drink, for example. “You shouldn’t suck on ice cubes, they are so cold that afterwards the blood circulation and thus the pain only increase”, warns Engel.
  4. Medicines: In the pharmacy there are numbing pastes, for example with lidocaine, or the anti-inflammatory cortisone. But first talk to your doctor, who can prescribe this for you in an emergency.
  5. Avoid irritation: If you have a canker sore, you will quickly find that acidic, hot or hard food and also alcohol hurts quite a bit because it irritates the area. Therefore, it is better to switch to soft foods such as soup or rice. “Cigarettes are particularly irritating to the damaged mucous membrane and disrupt the body’s healing processes, so be sure to shift down a gear,” advises Engel.  


Physio exercises for sprained ankle

Twisted? Put your foot up, cool down and train! You read that correctly: from the 10th day you can actively help your foot on the jumps again. All you need for this is a long elastic band.

1. Band pull forward
S tarten about 10 days after spraining with these exercises (see above Section: “Walking the tightrope”): elastic band – 2 meters or longer – a little above the ankle attach to a rigid object like Radiators or railings. Place the other end around the sound ankle. For fastening, move your back so far forward that the band is slightly taut. Then move the injured foot forward 50 to 100 centimeters. Bend your knees a little, dig your toes into the ground, lift your heels. Now pull the healthy, tied foot forward until it is 5 to 10 centimeters in front of the free one. Slowly back to the starting position. 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

2. Pull the elastic backwards.
Stand with your face on the injured foot to secure it, your knees slightly bent, your toes pressed into the ground, your heel lifted a little. Place the tied, healthy foot 3 to 10 centimeters in front of the free one, then pull it back 50 to 100 centimeters. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat as in exercise 1.

3. Cross from both sides
with the uninjured side for attachment, feet a little more than shoulder width, hips and knees slightly bend. Leave the injured foot on the ground, cross in front of the body with a healthy foot tied. Toe level with the outside of the other foot touch the ground. Back to the beginning. Repeat like exercise 1 on the other side.

How to cure your injuries

Not only falls and collisions endanger the health of a skier.

E in unnoticed progressive wear in the joints painful forms may take a few years. Well-developed muscles as well as sports such as swimming, cycling and running stimulate the build-up of cartilage material in joints such as the knee and thus provide the best protection against damage.


Osteoarthritis: Anyone who still suffers from osteoarthritis should try preparations such as collagen hydrolyzate (available in pharmacies as CH-Alpha drinking ampoules, for example). After absorption, it accumulates in the joints and stimulates cells to perform at their best when building cartilage mass. According to a study by the University of Tübingen, osteoarthritis-related pain decreases by more than half within 24 weeks if patients take 10 grams of collagen hydrolyzate every day.


Nothing is lost: In the case of severe joint damage, the cartilage is so badly damaged that it is no longer possible to regenerate it on its own or with preparations. But nobody has to end up being a sports invalid. “The surgical methods are now so good that any kind of winter sport is still possible,” says DSV sports medicine specialist Hocketer.

It doesn’t matter whether you prefer snowboarding, cross-country skiing or carving skis. The surgeon even sends patients with artificial joints back to the slopes after the operation. A knee prosthesis has an average shelf life of 16 to 17 years. As long as you avoid icy mogul slopes, the risk of another injury is low.

Sleep better

You lie awake at night and cannot fall asleep? We put twelve myths under the microscope so that you can sleep better in the end. Good night!

“I can still sleep when I’m dead.” With this quote from the director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, some people emphasize that they could do much more productive things than lounging unconscious under cozy blankets for hours.

However, Fassbinder died at 37, so maybe he should have paid a little more attention to his night’s rest. Because sleep is anything but unproductive. One of the nightly jobs is to consolidate what has been learned and learned from the day in the long-term memory, to produce growth hormones for cell renewal and wound healing and to heat up the immune system to hunt viruses and bacteria.

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“Contrary to what many people think, the body’s energy consumption during sleep is almost as high as during the day – the difference is exactly the equivalent of a slice of toast,” says Professor Jürgen Zulley, head of the Sleep Medicine Center at the University of Regensburg. Let an expert tell you about sleep – so that you can distinguish fairy tales from real bedtime stories.

Sleep Myth 1: Morning Sleep

“Good sleep, all splendor unfolds before midnight”

Correct! However, only if you really mean the “middle of the night” by this – which is closer to around 3 o’clock.

“This is the real witching hour of the biorhythm,” says Zulley. Those who then have to be awake are restless, frozen and in a bad mood to the point of sadness – one of the reasons why you should never wallow in problems at night. In the particularly restful deep sleep phases, you almost only dive into the first 4 hours of sleep and before biological midnight. You will collect most of the deep sleep when you regularly go to bed at 11 p.m. “The body can catch up on missed deep sleep the following night,” says Zulley. So take it easy!

Sleep myth 2: morning grouch

“Who is tired and weak in the morning and slept badly at night?”

Not correct! Often the alarm clock just went off at the wrong time. “In fact, the state of awakening does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the quality of sleep,” explains Zulley.

This is because the night’s rest is divided into stages in which you sleep at different depths. Those who are torn from deep sleep are completely off the trail, while getting up is easy when they are naturally on the threshold of awakening. Neither of these says anything about whether you have already recharged enough energy for the next day. Sleep researchers therefore assess whether someone sleeps too little or even suffers from a sleep disorder based on whether they are fresh most of the day or nod off immediately when it gets boring or comfortable. If you want to get out of bed more easily in the morning, you should let the alarm go off in a light sleep phase.

You can calculate it as follows: The 1st cycle takes about 60 minutes, the following about 90 minutes. Added to this is the time it takes to fall asleep, most of them around 15 minutes. The optimal wake-up times are 5:45, 7:15 and 8:45 hours after “lights off”.

Sleep myth 3: A bit of sleep

“A couple of hours every night made everyone fresh”

Not correct! Ignore people like Thomas Edison, inventor of the lightbulb, who boast of getting by on 4 hours of sleep a night. Because these people often supplement their sleep with various naps during the day and thus achieve completely normal sleep amounts overall. Even if not, how much sleep you need to be relaxed and stay healthy in the long term is largely genetically determined.

“Most people need 7 to 8 hours of sleep,” says Zulley. You can find your own optimum by going to bed at the same time for a while (not too late!) And getting up in the morning as soon as you are awake. Make a note of the hours you slept, then after a while you will recognize your personal average.

Sleep Myth 4: Sleep Disorder

“Who always wakes up at night is not really ticking under the roof”

Not correct! “Not sleeping through the night is not a sleep disorder; it is completely normal,” says Zulley. Anyone who sleeps 7 hours wakes up about 28 times a night, but in most cases they don’t remember because they fall asleep again immediately.

Sleep research has shown that you only become aware of the waking phase (and stay in your memory) if it lasts longer than 3 minutes. However, according to Zulley, conscious awakening only becomes problematic if the person concerned is annoyed or worried about it: “In this case, stress hormones are released that actually rob you of sleep.”

Those who cannot fall asleep again should check whether they are still physically relaxed. Then it is advisable to lie still and concentrate on your breath. Consciously breathe in deeply and slowly and then exhale even more slowly. If, on the other hand, you are only tossing restlessly from side to side, then you’d better get up. Make sure that your body does not get cold and do some quiet activity that arouses positive thoughts in you and that you can stop at any time when the heaviness of bed returns.

Sleep myth 5: bedtime ritual

“If you go to sport late in the evening, do you fall asleep immediately afterwards”

Not correct! Pushing yourself to the limit of your performance doesn’t make you bed heavy, but increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol – and that keeps you awake for the time being.

You should therefore be through with highly demanding training units by the afternoon at the latest. “However, the assumption that late exercise generally disrupts sleep is outdated,” says Zulley, recommending regular, calm exercise.

If you are tied to late training times, you can turn the shower into a sleep ritual afterwards: the warmth and the massaging water jet help you relax. You have to try whether a sauna or a hot bath have the same effect, some react rather exuberantly.

Sleep myth 6: nightcap

“Anyone who drinks wine and beer in the evening will sleep like a marmot”

Not correct! Sure, you’ll fall asleep faster, but the sleep structure gets mixed up and prevents the night from becoming really restful. The important deep sleep in particular suffers.

In addition, the relaxation created by the alcohol also loosens the tissue in the throat: “Even 1 glass of beer significantly increases the likelihood of snoring,” explains Zulley. This disturbs sleep for several reasons: You do not get enough air from the slack tissue and you wake up more often from your own noise level. Or because your partner is constantly ramming her elbow in your side.

Sleep myth 7: back sleeper

“Lie on your back asleep, the sleeper likes to saw”

Those who lie on their back are more likely to snore.

The likelihood that slack throat tissue will obstruct airflow is greater in the supine position than in other positions. Sometimes, however, a higher pillow helps, in more severe cases you can lie down in bed with a so-called supine position prevention vest (from the medical supply store). “Looks like Quasimodo, but it works,” says Zulley.

Equipment with which the nostrils are to be opened wider are useless. According to Zulley, many operations to clear the airways are often unsuccessful, so you should only consider them if the recommendation is made by an ear, nose and throat doctor who is experienced in snoring. They are available, for example, in specialized sleep laboratories; the addresses can be obtained from the German Academy for Health and Sleep (DAGS) on tel. 09 41/9 42 82 71.

Incidentally, one of the most effective measures against snoring is to permanently rid yourself of extra pounds.

Sleep myth 8: lunch

“If you are tired after Vespers, you probably eat the wrong thing at lunchtime”

Not correct! Eating too rich and too high in carbohydrates may aggravate the midday slump, but it is not to blame. The cause lies in the biorhythm, so it is innate.

Give in to the body’s natural need for rest instead of struggling with fatigue. A nap is rewarded with a significantly higher performance curve in the afternoon. “After a nap, performance is 35 percent greater,” says sleep researcher Zulley.

Caution: If you rest too long, you will fall into deep sleep and will not get going well afterwards! To prevent this from happening, set an alarm clock and close your eyes for a maximum of 30 minutes. This is relaxing even when you don’t fall asleep.

Sleep myth 9:00

“If you often have to go to the bathroom at night, maybe it’s because of the apnea”

Correct! If you regularly have to go to the toilet more than twice a night, this can be a sign of sleep apnea, i.e. nocturnal breathing pauses.

You won’t suffocate, but they are life-threatening in the long run. Because your body is not getting enough oxygen and is constantly alarmed. That’s why you often wake up briefly to gasp – possibly several hundred times a night.

The lead tiredness on the following day permanently kills all zest for life, drastically increases the risk of accidents of all kinds and stresses the cardiovascular system. Such pauses in breathing usually, but not always, occur together with heavy snoring. The pressure on the bladder at night can be the only sign warning you of the danger. It occurs because the falling oxygen levels in the body increase blood pressure. To reduce this, the kidney is stimulated to excrete more fluid – the bladder fills.

Sleep Myth 10: Night Walk

“Sleepwalking is a rumor, because whoever sleeps does not sin”

Not correct! There are sleep disorders in which those affected – men only – live out dreams and do crazy things in their sleep without even knowing it the next day.

In doing so, they not only endanger themselves, they can also hurt their partner, for example if they are attacked in a dream and defend themselves. There is also the more common sleepwalking, in which those affected are active in deep sleep.

Where are the disturbances coming from? The sleep of the brain and the rest of the body are normally controlled and synchronized separately. If it works, you are largely paralyzed in the dream phase; occasional twitching or speaking is normal. The fact that the coordination of body and brain is sometimes more seriously disturbed can have various causes: hereditary predisposition, stress or permanent confusion of biological rhythms, such as through shift work. In addition, fever, mental illness, alcohol and other drugs promote so-called somnambulism.

The proverbial sleepwalking security is a myth: Time and again, people in deep sleep fall out of the windows they thought were doors.

Sleep myth 11: party prep

“Do you want to party in the evening, sleep well, stay longer”

Correct! And that by reducing a possible sleep deficit. It would be ideal to get enough sleep the week before a long night. On the day of the event, a midday nap will reduce pent-up fatigue, and you can beat yourself on the ear even in the early evening.

The naps are only relaxing, however, if you observe the sleep architecture mentioned above: Either you snooze for a maximum of 30 minutes or you take a break of 3 hours, in which you then manage 2 cycles including deep sleep.

Sleep myth 12: A bright start

“If you don’t wake up in the morning, only one thing helps: bright light!”

Correct! But it has to be really bright – from 2500 lux upwards. Room lighting only reaches 400 lux (sunlight: over 100,000 lux).

Spending an hour outside in the morning is an unmatched pick-me-up. If you have to go in the dark, you can sit in front of a light therapy device (e.g. above). Two hours before 2500 lux wake you up, at 10,000 lux 30 minutes are enough. The lamps also help to endure night shifts better. But be careful: it never replaces a good night’s sleep!

Pain-free thanks to acupuncture

Whether migraines or sports injuries: the needle treatment works for numerous complaints – without any side effects.

K Headache

It is not always the ideal solution to throw in a tablet to silence the headache. Especially in the case of long-lasting, severe pain, it can be more beneficial to tackle the symptoms with needles. “Acupuncture can reduce both the intensity and the frequency of headaches,” says expert Tepp. There is very little fat under the scalp. Therefore the needles are inserted very carefully from the side. The acupuncture points are directly on the surface. “This is how headache is treated preventively and in acute cases,” says complementary medicine specialist Linde. “Usually the patient receives six to 15 treatments.”

The chance of recovery is great. “In the case of migraine and tension headaches, the results are at least as good as those achieved through the use of medication,” says Dominik Irnich, senior physician and head of the interdisciplinary pain clinic at the Ludwig Maximilian University Hospital in Munich.


During an attack, the muscles in the airways cramp and the mucous membranes swell. The patient gasps and panic. There are different causes, for example allergies or stress. But smoking or a dragged on cold can also trigger asthma. Whether asthma can be cured by acupuncture always depends on the form of the disease and the overall condition of the patient.

“Asthma is often treated supportively with acupuncture,” says senior physician Irnich. The swimming professional Thomas Rupprath also had severe asthma and got it under control with the help of acupuncture. Before that, his bronchi were narrowed and his breathing function was restricted as a result. “Thanks to acupuncture, I’m doing very well again. I have been drug-free for two to three years,” says Rupprath. “I took the acupuncture sessions as needed – depending on how high the athletic stress was and how good I was breathing.”

At first he was skeptical, but when it began to work, he believed in it. Rupprath: “Immediately afterwards you don’t feel like you have been reborn; the effect only sets in when you go to meetings more often. It helped me in any case.” In addition to the belief in self-healing powers, other components are important, such as the way in which the practitioner asks you, how intensively he turns to you. Pain specialist Irnich recommends: “Make sure that he takes as much time as possible for you.” This is another hallmark of a good acupuncturist.

Stress and depression

Imagine you have to give a presentation to the entire team. Many stress such a situation. Have you ever had the idea to get a prick beforehand? Probably not, but it’s worth a try. “When there is high tension, acupuncture helps to loosen up and improve concentration,” says alternative practitioner Ansuhenne. “You work more effectively, have more energy.”

The same applies if you feel down or something is troubling you, such as losing your job or having an accident. “You can also try acupuncture for mildly depressed moods,” says Ansuhenne.

In the case of depression, needle treatments alone are not enough; talk therapy is then indispensable! Acupuncture makes the patient more open, however, it is easier for him to think positively. Ansuhenne: “By stimulating certain points, happiness hormones such as serotonin are released.”

stomach problems

The small needle pricks can also release basic tension in the body. This plays an important role in the treatment of gastrointestinal complaints. “Heartburn is often due to stress and poor nutrition,” says alternative practitioner Ansuhenne. “In these cases, acupuncture tries to prevent overproduction of gastric acid.” It can also restore balance in the case of irritable bowel syndrome.

Do not be surprised: in the case of gastrointestinal problems, needles are not only inserted into the trunk, but also into so-called distant points on the extremities. Often they even trigger a stronger reaction than on the stomach because there are more nerve endings in a small space. This also applies to stomach upsets. “Studies on nausea and vomiting show that acupuncture works well in these cases,” says senior physician Irnich.

Back pain

You may know that: The working day doesn’t want to end, you’ve been sitting in the office chair for six hours, the typical pulling in your back is heralding. At some point you get into the car, drive home, and the lumbar spine discomfort becomes even worse from sitting in the car.

Even in such a case, acupuncture can help to enjoy the well-deserved evening. The psyche plays an essential role in this. “The times when back pain was understood purely physically are over,” says Irnich. “Neither physiotherapy nor acupuncture alone can help with chronic back pain. The attending physician can, however, use acupuncture as a support in connection with other therapies.” As part of an overall concept, acupuncture can relieve pain. If you have acute back pain, you should go to an orthopedic surgeon, osteopath or chiropractor (not to be confused with a chiropractor!) As soon as possible and have yourself examined there first.

It has been scientifically proven that acupuncture works, but how exactly this effect comes about has not yet been clarified. Researchers suggest that acupuncture improves blood flow to tissues. Treatment with the needles may also influence pain receptors in our brain, so that the body’s own happiness hormones are increasingly released, which then act as pain killers.

It may seem a bit unsatisfactory that the success of acupuncture has not yet been fully scientifically explained. However, that shouldn’t prevent you from benefiting from their effects. As the saying goes: He who heals is right.

Sports injuries

Athletes often swear by acupuncture, for example for meniscus damage or injuries to the foot that result from jogging. The treatment helps the body recover faster. “Acupuncture is increasingly being used in sports medicine and professional sport, including for broken bones,” says pain doctor Irnich. “There are points that stimulate the increased formation of bone substance”, explains alternative practitioner Ansuhenne.

According to the theory of acupuncture, increased blood and lymph fluid flows to an injured part of the body. This improves the supply of minerals, vitamins and hormones. The treatment also helps in preparation for competitions. “After I had tried acupuncture, I had very good results in the regeneration phase,” says swimming world champion Thomas Rupprath from Rostock. “Especially after a hard workout, my muscles were able to recover and relax better.”

Every illness has its time

Illnesses have their own daily rhythm. Those who know it can protect themselves from it at the right time.

4 a.m.: Asthma
In asthma, the bronchi are narrowed, making it difficult to breathe out. If the old air remains in the lungs, there is not enough space to inhale new air. The result is shortness of breath. Anyone who suffers from severe asthma is sick all day. However, most asthma attacks happen between two in the morning and six in the morning. The bronchi are particularly narrow at around 3 p.m. – at 3 p.m. their diameter is greatest.

If you are prone to asthma, it is best to do sports in the afternoon. To prevent asthma attacks, medication should be taken exactly as planned. Medicines that dilate the bronchi should usually be inhaled again before going to bed. The sometimes necessary cortisone works optimally if it is taken in the afternoon. In the case of typical asthma symptoms such as an insatiable dry cough, however, it cannot be avoided to see a doctor as soon as possible.

6 o’clock in the morning: Depression
Not everyone who gets out of bed in a bad mood and listless in the morning is immediately sick. However, as soon as this condition persists for more than 14 days, doctors speak of depression. Depressed people often wake up between four and six in the morning, lie brooding on their pillows and cannot go back to sleep. After getting up, they are often completely depressed for hours. Those who are depressed and still get fairly active through the day often feel more relaxed in the evening. But only to sag again the next morning. Waking up early can be used therapeutically: controlled sleep deprivation is one of the most successful treatment approaches for depression, along with modern psycho-therapeutic methods and the use of medication.

8.30 a.m.: Toothache
Pain is strongest at night and in the early hours of the morning. This is especially true for toothache. So wait a little longer – if possible – before fighting the hammer pain with a hammer tablet. In just a few hours, you may feel better on your own. The pain also has a daily rhythm. At noon and in the afternoon, the human sensation of pain is lowest. Painkillers also develop their greatest effect during this time. The desirable effect of local anesthesia then lasts for a particularly long time, around 30 minutes. In the morning you have to expect to feel pain again after just twelve minutes. So if you have to go to a dental treatment in the near future, then you should insist on an appointment at noon or in the afternoon.

10.30 am:
Heart problems According to statistics, most heart attacks in men happen between breakfast and lunch. Angina pectoris, the extremely painful, seizure-like precursor of the infarction, also occurs particularly frequently in the morning. Reason: At night the body is set to rest. However, that changes when you get up. This sudden switch to action can drive the blood pressure of heart patients so high that the risk of heart attack increases immediately. The expert tip: If the individual medical history allows, high blood pressure patients should take their medication before getting up.

3 p.m.: high blood pressure
At 3 p.m. the blood pressure has its highest values. In the vast majority of cases, it cannot be said why this is so. It is crucial for the diagnosis that the blood pressure is measured correctly: in a daily profile with several individual measurements, from which the mean value is calculated. If the blood pressure is too high during the day, it should drop to normal levels at night. Otherwise the blood vessels will become calcified and further medication will be required.

4 p.m.: Muscle injuries
It sounds paradoxical at first: At 3 a.m., your muscles show the highest endurance values. At the opposite time, at 4 p.m., you have a clear low in terms of your continuous output. Exactly the opposite is the case with the maximum strength of the muscles. For you that means: watch out! It has not been proven that muscle injuries occur particularly frequently around 4 p.m. But a connection is very likely. Incidentally, the endurance peak around 3 a.m. is a result of sleep. Without sufficient recovery, the muscles become slack. This rhythm is also the reason why night work is unusually stressful for us.

10 p.m. in the evening: Joint
inflammation Inflammation has its peak late in the evening and at night. The pain is then greatest. In the morning the joint is stiff and it is time for medication. With the exception of cortisone, which has a stronger effect when it enters your body after 3 p.m. Because the body’s own production of the anti-inflammatory is lowest between 6 p.m. and midnight.

11 p.m. in the evening: Colds
A cold that you have under control during the day robs you of sleep at night. Your nose is blocked, your breathing sounds like a steam engine, and you just can’t calm down. The main cause is your position. When lying down, the nasal mucosa swells for static reasons. Therefore: sleep with your upper body slightly elevated. The body temperature is also highest in the evening. You are only really healthy again when the temperature is normal in the evening. The morning measurement is by no means sufficient.

2 a.m.: stomach pain
After 9 p.m. the stomach produces most of the acid. Symptoms that point to a stomach ulcer often report at night. Light bed-treats such as yogurt buffer the excess acid. And don’t drink coffee or alcohol before going to bed. If you sleep with your upper body slightly elevated, stomach acid does not get into the esophagus.

3 a.m.: kidney stones
Kidney stones are also found in young people. Their formation depends on the specific weight of the urine, its acidity and the dissolved substances (for example uric acid, magnesium, calcium and phosphate). The more of these substances there are, the greater the likelihood that small kidney stones will form over time. The concentration is highest at three o’clock in the morning – and with it the risk of starting stone cultivation almost unnoticed. If you are prone to kidney stones, you should check the whole thing regularly: With special test strips, which you can get in every pharmacy, you can measure the crucial substances in your urine. To get correct values, however, you should set your alarm clock to three in the morning – and then pee straight away.

The right food for a cold

Have you been ailing for days and want to sip something other than soup to strengthen your immune system? We tell you which food is really good for you if you have a cold.

Vitamins for the immune system: Eat yourself healthy

J ow it’s official! Men really suffer from a cold more than women. Genes and hormones are to blame, as researchers at Stanford University of California found

In the experiment, the defense reaction after flu vaccinations was measured in women and men. It turned out that men produce fewer antibodies – and are therefore more blown away. So that it doesn’t get that far this year, it is all the more important to counter this with healthy vegetables. Bake, grill or cook green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach or Swiss chard, so the many positive effects can be ideally combined with a warm winter meal. While fresh food is limited in winter, there are plenty of green leafy vegetables. To keep the immune system ready and colds at bay, the body needs sufficient vitamins and minerals.

Another important ingredient makes the greens a real health booster: chlorophyll. With the help of photosynthesis, the plant pigment converts light into carbohydrates and thus provides the necessary energy for the plant. The power substance unfolds even further in people. It neutralizes acids in the body, which means that the tissue is better supplied with blood and the cells receive more oxygen. Viruses and bacteria don’t like that at all.

So: better to bite into the green than into the grass! Here come the best recipes with the green fodder!

Swiss chard pan with egg, onions and tomatoes

Even the ancient Romans valued leafy vegetables. Swiss chard contains a lot of fiber, which improves digestion and helps to bind and eliminate toxins in the body.

Ingredients for 2 serving (s)

  • 250 g cherry tomato (s)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 kg of Swiss chard
  • 2 medium onion (s)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 medium egg (s)

  1. Halve or quarter the cherry tomatoes, mix with the red wine vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut out the chard stalks, place the leaves in a bowl with cold water, wash thoroughly, pour into a colander to drain and then roughly chop. Then wash and dry the stems and cut them into narrow strips. Peel the onions and garlic, dice both finely.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pan with a lid on medium heat. Add the stalks of the chard together with the onion cubes and sauté for about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat, add the garlic and sauté everything for one minute while stirring. Then add the chard leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the hotplate on the highest setting and wait, stirring constantly, until the leaves have collapsed.
  4. Reduce to medium heat and use the back of a spoon to make 4 hollows in the vegetables. Slide 1 egg in each. Cover the pan and let the eggs set for about 4 minutes.
  5. Pour vinegar tomatoes on top and serve immediately.
  • Calories (kcal): 420
  • Fat: 26g
  • Protein: 29g
  • Carbohydrates: 16g

Nutty kale

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees. Wash the kale, remove the hard stalks, and spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, then sprinkle the other ingredients on the leaves. Massage the whole thing well into the leaves, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes on the top shelf until crispy (after 10 minutes slide the tray onto the middle shelf).

Ingredients for 1 tray (s)

  • 200 g kale
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame (toasted)
  • 0.5 tsp sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
  2. Wash the kale, remove the hard stalks, and spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, then sprinkle the other ingredients on the leaves.
  3. Massage the whole thing well into the leaves, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes on the top shelf until crispy (after 10 minutes slide the tray onto the middle shelf).
  • Calories (kcal): 147
  • Fat: 10g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 7g

Baked kale with lemon

4 ingredients, 25 minutes and 100 percent taste: try this delicious clean eating recipe

Ingredients for 1 tray (s)

  • 200 g kale
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 0.5 tsp sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
  2. Wash the kale, remove the hard stalks, and spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, then sprinkle the other ingredients on the leaves.
  3. Massage the whole thing well into the leaves, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes on the top shelf until crispy (after 10 minutes slide the tray onto the middle shelf).
  • Calories (kcal): 152
  • Fat: 11g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Carbohydrates: 8g

Citrus salmon on spinach salad with ginger

Healthy fatty acids from salmon, hardly any carbohydrates and a taste explosion on the tongue: The citrus salmon recipe from “Deutsche See Fischmanufaktur” has a lot to offer

Ingredients for 2 serving (s)

  • 320 g salmon (fillets)
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 medium orange (organic)
  • 1 medium lime (s) (organic)
  • 150 g baby spinach
  • 1/2 bunch of radishes
  • 1/2 medium-sized bell pepper (yellow)
  • 1 medium shallot (s)
  • 1 ginger
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

  1. Prepare the salmon, because the longer the essential oils of the citrus peel are allowed to act, the more aromatic it tastes. First, wash the orange and lime and dry them well.
  2. Now brush the fillets on both sides with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then rub the peel of the oranges and limes directly onto the fish, as this will retain more of their fresh scent. Then salt and pepper the fish and – while you prepare the salad – let it steep.
  3. First wash the spinach, radishes and bell peppers. Cut the radishes into slices, finely dice peppers, shallots and garlic. For the salad, pluck the larger spinach leaves a little bit smaller, leave baby spinach whole. Then carefully mix the spinach in a bowl with the radishes, bell peppers and the shallot.
  4. For the dressing, squeeze the orange and the lime, measure 2 tablespoons of orange and 1 tablespoon of lime juice and mix this with finely chopped ginger and white wine vinegar. Then slowly beat in 2 tablespoons of oil in a thin stream and season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  5. Now fry the salmon in the remaining olive oil for 3–4 minutes on each side until it is completely through but still tender. Fold the dressing under the salad at the very end and serve the salad and fish together. Serve with crispy baguette or ciabatta.
  • Calories (kcal): 768
  • Fat: 66g
  • Protein: 37g
  • Carbohydrates: 8g

Grilled romaine lettuce with oranges, gorgonzola and orange vinaigrette

With a water content of 92 percent, romaine lettuce is very low in calories, but still provides a considerable amount of vitamin C and B vitamins.

Ingredients for 2 serving (s)

  • 2 medium orange (s)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 0.5 tsp honey
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 125 g Gorgonzola

  • For the vinaigrette:
  1. Squeeze oranges.
  2. Whisk with olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, sea salt and pepper.
  • For the salad:
  1. Peel the oranges with a sharp knife so that no white skin remains on them. Remove the fillets from the separating skins and set aside. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Remove the stems from the heads of lettuce so that the leaves are still sticking together. Remove dead leaves and cut the heads in half. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the lettuce halves with the vinaigrette on both sides (save the rest) and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Place on the tray with the cut surface facing down and slide into the oven. Grill on both sides for 1 to 2 minutes, until brown spots appear and ends start to darken. Take out and arrange on a plate.
  4. Crumble the Gorgonzola, sprinkle over the salad and top with the orange fillets. Drizzle over the rest of the vinaigrette and season with freshly ground pepper.
  • Calories (kcal): 752
  • Fat: 58g
  • Protein: 24g
  • Carbohydrates: 34g

Celery and spinach shake

A heart chases around 7,000 liters of blood through the body every day. The amount doubles for athletes. Drink this shake so that the pressure and thus your training performance never decrease

Ingredients for 1 serving (s)

  • 1 medium-sized apple
  • 1 medium pear (s)
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 100 g spinach
  • 3 sprigs of parsley (smooth)
  • 3 tbsp oat bran
  • 300 ml of water

  1. Quarter the apple and pear, remove the core and put the fruit in the blender.
  2. Thirds the celery and add. Then roughly shred the spinach and parsley and add to the rest.
  3. Scatter oat bran on top, pour in water and mix until there are no more pieces. Finished!
  • Calories (kcal): 484
  • Fat: 7g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 84g

Pan-stir fried pak choi with shiitake mushrooms

Pak Choi is a real Asian secret weapon that not only tastes delicious, but also scores with low calories (14 kcal per 100 grams) and lots of folic acid, iron, calcium and beta-carotene. We like it!

Ingredients for 2 serving (s)

  • 5 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 0.5 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 cm ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 200 g shiitake mushrooms
  • 800 g pak choi
  • 1 medium-sized bell pepper (red)
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 120 g rice, raw

  • For the sauce:
  1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Eliminate.
  • For the vegetables:
  1. Toast the sesame seeds in a pan without fat until golden brown. Peel and finely chop the ginger and garlic. Slice the mushrooms, pak choi and peppers into thin strips.
  2. Heat the ednut oil in a wok or large pan, fry the garlic and ginger for a minute while stirring. Add the rest of the vegetables and stir-fry for 2 more minutes. Pour the sauce over it and cook for another minute.
  3. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds on the dish and serve immediately.
  • Calories (kcal): 459
  • Fat: 14g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 75g

The big meat check: how much you can eat and how you can prepare it healthily

Givers of strength with essential vitamins and protein or cholesterol bombs loaded with antibiotics – the subject of meat is hotly debated. FOCUS Online names the most important facts about the individual types of meat – and shows what “healthy” fat traps are.

The hunger for meat in Germany is great. Every inhabitant eats around 60 kilograms per year. Around 750 million animals are therefore slaughtered every year. Meat consumption has been falling for years, but only in the single-digit range. However, statistically speaking, every citizen still consumes around 1,100 animals in his life, including mainly chickens, but also just under 50 pigs and four cattle, as the BUND’s last meat atlas in 2018 calculated.

Meat causes a lot of CO 2 , but provides the best protein

Meat is therefore undoubtedly one of the staple foods. However, it is left out of the picture that meat consumption is devastating for the climate balance: Through animal production, a meat eater pollutes the atmosphere with a good 1,800 kilograms of CO 2 per year and thus heats the climate catastrophe, vegetarians only make up about half of this.

Aside from that: nutritionally, meat offers a lot of positives. “Meat is definitely a high-quality food because it provides us with protein in particularly good bioavailability,” says Antje Gahl, press spokeswoman for the German Nutrition Society ( DGE ).

Animal protein, i.e. from meat and dairy products, can be used so well by our body because the composition of the amino acids is very similar to that of human protein. Animal protein usually contains all of the essential amino acids that we need in sufficient quantities, while plant-based foods often do not have the full spectrum of these amino acids. The body can therefore produce protein from animal protein particularly quickly and appropriately – for the muscles, for example.

In addition, meat is also characterized by other valuable ingredients:

  • readily available iron,

  • Selenium and

  • zinc

– all minerals and trace elements that are indispensable for blood formation, immune system, cell health, fertility and much more. Another unique feature is the high proportion of B vitamins, including vitamin B12 , which is only found in sufficient quantities in animal foods such as meat, eggs, milk and dairy products.

Preserving nutrients through proper cooking

To ensure that these nutrients are retained as well as possible during preparation, the expert recommends steaming and slow frying, preferably with little fat. Some B vitamins are sensitive to heat, such as vitamins B1, B2 and B6 – vitamin B12 a little less.

The way in which meat and meat products are prepared determines how many vitamins are destroyed and how undesirable pollutants are formed. Therefore, everyone should consciously pay attention to high temperatures such as when grilling or the duration of heating. The longer and hotter it is cooked, the more pollutants are created or parts of the valuable B vitamins are destroyed.

Also read: Living more sustainably: What do we hide? – Our diet has immense environmental and climate effects – we can do that

Even so, barbecuing is particularly popular . An important tip from the expert for grilling: “Dab the marinade before you put the meat on the grill.” Otherwise it will drip into the embers, burn and, among other things, produce polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. PAHs are strongly suspected of increasing the risk of cancer.

Meat is healthy when prepared correctly. But is it also an indispensable food? “No”, says the qualified ecotrophologist. Apart from vitamin B12, which is also contained in milk and dairy products, each of these nutrients can be obtained from plant-based foods – even if not in the ideal composition and high quality that is given with meat.

The “dark side” of meat: cholesterol, purine and arachidonic acid

However, meat is also the main source of cholesterol. In high amounts, cholesterol is a risk factor for arteriosclerosis and thus heart attack and stroke. It is not only present in the visible fat in the meat, but also in low-fat pieces. 100 grams of lean meat provide around 50 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams. 300 milligrams per day is the maximum limit for the intake of cholesterol per day for healthy people, i.e. without a lipid metabolism disorder.

In addition, meat, especially offal, contains purine, i.e. uric acid, which supports gout. Arachidonic acid plays a role as the third negative, natural ingredient in meat. The body creates inflammatory substances from this fatty acid. Diet suggestions for diseases with an inflammatory character such as rheumatism are therefore always meat-free or strictly reduced in meat.

“Most of the cholesterol and purine ingested with food actually comes from meat and meat products such as sausage and ham, a particularly large proportion of which have offal,” confirms the scientist. Nevertheless, cholesterol is an indispensable substance in the body because it takes on important tasks in building cells and nerves. “But our body also produces cholesterol itself and is therefore not dependent on the intake with food,” she explains. Anyone who then eats a lot of meat and sausage quickly absorbs high amounts of cholesterol.

Red meat vs. White meat

However, not all meat is created equal . When it comes to health, a distinction is made between red and white meat. Red meat, i.e. beef, pork, lamb, sheep and goat, is considered particularly unhealthy because it is said to favor diseases.

“Anyone who eats a lot of red meat and especially processed red meat has a higher risk of colon cancer, as many studies indicate, according to the current state of knowledge, consumption of white meat (poultry) is not related to cancer,” says the qualified ecotrophologist. Overall, however, the quality, quantity and method of preparation of the meat are decisive in contributing to a healthy diet.

Pork is leaner, chicken is fatter than expected

But the animal from which the meat comes also plays an important role. How about pork, the most popular meat in Germany and the other types of meat consumed in this country?


Depending on the fat content, pork provides between 100 and 250 kilocalories per 100 grams, 70 milligrams of cholesterol. It also has a high content of vitamins B1 and B6.

So pork is surprisingly low in calories, but provides more cholesterol than, for example, beef. “Reach less for high-fat parts,” advises Antje Gahl, “but because of its vitamin B1 and B6, zinc and iron content, pork can make a contribution to a wholesome diet.”

Pork is popular because of its fine taste and can be used in many ways, quickly prepared and is particularly suitable as pan-fried meat (schnitzel) or roast with a crispy rind.


In terms of calorie content, beef is comparable to pork, depending on the fat, has around 150 to 200 kilocalories per 100 grams and 50 milligrams of cholesterol. It scores with high levels of vitamin B12, zinc and iron.

The strong taste of beef is particularly appreciated by many meat eaters. Because of its long fibers, beef lean meat must be specially prepared; apart from the fillet pieces, it requires a longer cooking time.


White, tender meat and a nutty taste are the characteristics of chicken, duck, turkey and goose. Because of the layer of fat under the skin, poultry meat provides a relatively large number of calories, around 270 kilocalories per 100 grams. If you choose a skin-free steak, you only get around 160 kilocalories. The fat content is around 25 grams per 100 grams of poultry meat.

In addition, poultry meat is particularly rich in protein, so it provides a lot of energy. Zinc, potassium and B vitamins make poultry meat particularly healthy.

But be careful, the crispy skin of chicken and duck contains lots of purines, so it can increase the risk of gout. This is particularly relevant for those who already have elevated purine levels, warns the expert. However, poultry is safe for healthy people in this context.

But: “Poultry meat contains significantly more cholesterol than is generally assumed, namely around 90 milligrams per 100 grams,” she adds. Chicken may be low in fat, but that doesn’t mean it’s low in cholesterol, as is often assumed.


The tender, dark meat with its strong taste is not one of the Germans’ favorite varieties. However, it contains many B vitamins as well as iron and has a high proportion of valuable protein. What is surprising, however, is that on average lamb provides more calories than pork, almost 200 kilocalories per 100 grams of fresh meat, as well as 70 milligrams of cholesterol and many saturated (unfavorable) fatty acids.

Particular attention should be paid to the fatty acid composition with many saturated fatty acids in lamb. Like chicken, lamb is not fundamentally unproblematic when it comes to fat – as is often assumed.


It looks different with game meat. Saddle of venison, venison ragout, roast venison and wild boar are rarely served in Germany, although the meat is actually very low in fat, rich in protein and rich in vitamins B1 and B2, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and selenium – and therefore healthy. Depending on the variety, it provides only 100 to 160 kilocalories per 100 grams of fresh produce, with less than ten grams of fat, around 60 milligrams of cholesterol and hardly any purine.

However, game meat should only be enjoyed well cooked because it can contain parasites, as the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment ( BfR ) warns. The radiation exposure of venison can also be high, depending on the region. “In wild boars, values ​​are still occasionally measured today that exceed the limit value for marketing 600 Becquerel per kilogram by more than ten times,” reports the Federal Office for Radiation Protection BfS .


Horse meat is also controversial, although it is very healthy with a high content of minerals, vitamins and protein, but low in fat (around two grams per 100 grams of meat) and low in cholesterol. Here there are more psychological reasons why the meat of the popular sport animals is frowned upon, in contrast to France , where it is coveted as a delicacy.

You can eat that much meat

Meat is therefore quite healthy. “Nobody has to go without meat in principle, because it is a valuable part of our diet,” says the expert. However, it depends on the amount, and the following applies: less is more.

The DGE recommends that people who eat meat do not consume more than 300 to 600 grams of meat and meat products per week. That goes for adults. So it’s practical: eat meatless for a few days, then a meat dish. A portion of meat can weigh 100 to 150 grams, a slice of cold cuts 15 to 25 grams, depending on the type.

“Meat makes perfect sense in a wholesome diet because it covers the need for many important nutrients with a single food. Even these small amounts are sufficient for this. It is best to choose predominantly plant-based foods and supplement them with animal-based foods, ”emphasizes Antje Gahl.

Of course, that doesn’t mean everyone has to eat meat. Those who prefer a vegetarian diet can supply these nutrients through a targeted selection of different types of vegetables and fruits, whole grain products, legumes, nuts and dairy products.

Organic meat or meat from conventional farming

Meat consumption in moderation is therefore quite healthy. It is not necessary to weigh one type of meat against another. Variety as well as personal preferences, taste and, last but not least, religion are important, emphasizes the qualified ecotrophologist. For more and more people, the ecological balance of rearing and animal welfare also play a role, keyword antibiotics, but also manure pollution and thus nitrate in the groundwater.

In organic animal husbandry, even fewer antibiotics may be used than in conventional farming, although there has also been a reduction in these recently. It is different with manure, regardless of whether it is organic or bulk, every animal produces just as much of it.

The best advice: eat less animal foods and more plant-based ones. In this way, fewer resources are used, the environment is less polluted and CO 2 emissions would be significantly reduced. Because meat production in particular produces a lot of the climate gas methane, which is many times more harmful to the climate than CO 2 .

Halve meat consumption

But as mentioned at the beginning: With 60 kilograms of meat consumed per person per year, Germany is far from the moderate recommendations of the DGE, which make up at most half of this amount. Accordingly, healthy meat consumption should hardly exceed around 30 kilograms per year – for the benefit of health, animals and the environment.