Why Women Need to Get the Sleep They Deserve
Research regarding women’s sleep patterns, needs, and unique issues indicates that females are twice as likely as men to experience difficulty sleeping. Women seem to sleep better as young adults, but then hormones take over and sleep problems ensue. What’s more, even more unique issues such as arthritis, breathing problems, and hot flashes can make getting the right quality and quantity of sleep impossible. Additionally, stress, depression, and fear can make the circumstances even more bleak.
According to Anjel Vahratian, chief of data analysis for the National Center for Health Statistics, “I was surprised to learn that nearly one in two women did not wake up feeling well rested four times or more in the past week. . . . Also quite striking is that postmenopausal women were more likely to experience disruptions in sleep quality compared with premenopausal women in the same age group. . . . As sleep is critical for optimal health and wellbeing, the findings in this report highlight areas for further research and targeted health promotion for women in midlife.”
Assistant professor of counseling psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University and Environmental Fellow at the National Sleep Foundation, Natalie Dautovich, argues that, “difficulty sleeping is a major symptom of the menopausal transition. In fact, . . . more than half of women undergoing the transition are not meeting the recommended sleep requirements of 7 to 9 hours per night.” As alluded to, vasomotor and hormonal fluctuations, anxiety, and mood change can all contribute to sleep problems.
Dr. Alon Avidan, professor and vice chair of the UCLA Department of Neurology at UCLA and director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center explains that, “Progesterone protects younger women from sleep apnea and snoring and this is lost after menopause. Decreases in progesterone levels can cause disturbed sleep as progesterone has both hypnotic and stress-relieving effects.”
A woman’s body needs to rest and recharge in order to be able to handle the unique challenges that women face on a daily basis. Essential nutrients must be able to replenish organs and cells, and females must get about 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night in order to make this possible. It has been written that there is more brain activity in females as opposed to males, so this is even more reason for women to devote time and energy to getting enough quality sleep. Please read the list before to better the odds for you or someone you care about.
#1: Sleep environment.
A dark, cool, and airy room between 68 and 69 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.
#2: Sleep preparation.
Exercise in the afternoon to sleep easier and better at night.
#3: Acceptable snacking.
Nuts, bananas, and yogurt are permissible choices.
#4: Avoiding caffeine.
Don’t consume caffeine, alcohol, and other drugs near to bedtime.
#5: Avoiding naps.
We all need a nap every once in a while, but they should be limited because napping makes it harder to sleep well at night.
#6: Eliminating noise.
No matter what the noise, shield your ears from it.
#7: Eliminating light.
No matter what the light, keep it out of sight.
SleepCenter (main image)