Dauerschlaf is a German word which means “prolonged sleep”.
It is a kind of therapy which employs sleep-inducing drugs. Its popularity was associated with Jakob Klaesi (1883-1980), a Swiss psychiatrist, with his “sleep cures” in the 1920s. Klaesi used a premedication with morphine and scopolamine; and an administration of Somnifen (mixture of diethyl and dipropenyl-barbituric acid and diethylamine) for 6 to 7 days. There were other drug mixture variants and Somifen was often used. This technique was usually used to treat patients with schizophrenia and it was the only available medication during that time. However, this declined in popularity when it was linked with patients’ respiratory and/or cardiac complications and even death.