Pope Benedict XVI (1927-2022) is said to have suffered from insomnia for years during his time as head of the church and to have taken strong medication for it. The news magazine “Focus” reports, citing a letter from Benedict that he wrote to his biographer Peter Seewald a few weeks before his death.

It says that the insomnia that has accompanied him since World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne was also the central motive for his resignation in 2013. The “strong remedies” that his personal doctor had prescribed for his insomnia soon “reached their limits” and “were less and less able to ensure availability as Pope”.

As a result, there is said to have been a bloody incident: During a trip in March 2012, the pope, presumably dazed from the sleeping pills, “stumbled somewhere” during the night and fell. His handkerchief was “totally soaked with blood” the next morning, reported Benedikt.

A new personal doctor then urged him to reduce his sleeping pills. He also insisted that Benedict only appear in public in the mornings when traveling abroad. He then planned his resignation. “He was no longer able to adequately exercise the office of representative of Jesus Christ,” writes “Focus”.

After Benedict XVI Francis was elected Pope on March 13, 2013. Benedict XVI died on December 31, 2022 at the age of 95.