Women and Sleep

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SO, this week is a bit ‘dry’ as I’m throwing some facts and figures at you (just in case you didn’t realised how important sleep was).

Firstly, women are twice as likely to experience sleep issues than men…is that because we talk about it more? Hmmmm.

 

Here’s some (not so) fun facts:

 

31% report daytime effects of sleep disturbances

25% report a significant daytime sleepiness

74% report sleeping less than 8 hours a night

27% report an impaired job performance

24% have an impaired ability to care for family

14% report falling asleep whilst driving

53% Have often or have always experienced insomnia during the previous month

31% Use stimulants to maintain alertness

13% use prescription drugs

8% use alcohol for sleep

 

Women, Sleep and Hormones:

 

Hormones fluctuate during the monthly cycle, impacting sleep and there are great variations in what women experience.

 

Changes such as increase body temp, increased melatonin secretion and increased sleepiness has been shown to occur during the luteal phase (after ovulation and before menstruation).

Studies also show the rise and fall of progesterone in the late luteal phase, to be associated with sleep disturbances – restless sleep, bad dreams and unrefreshing sleep.

All things that women experience with PMS!

 

Oral Contraception (OCP):

 

The OCP has shown to increase body temp throughout the cycle (which decreases REM sleep), increase cortisol (this may be a good or bad thing depending on the level of adrenal fatigue).

But there is GOOD NEWS! Most studies have found long term OCP use to not have adverse effects on sleep (particularly low dose).

 

Women, Sleep and Lifestyle:

 

Lifestyle factors such as obesity, smoking, family issues, menopause and mood disorders affect sleep quality.

86% of working women report fatigue and exhaustion

60% have difficulty sleeping

40% of full-time employed women sleep less than 6.5hours

Shift working women sleep between 1.5-4 hours less that non-shift working women.

SO here’s the thing, life is life, and often our schedules are not something that can be changed.

There is no need to make massive changes, little lifestyle ‘tweaks’ add up to big changes for your health and wellbeing.

 

Can you go to bed ½ hour earlier tonight (with a book)?

 

 

Wishing you health, happiness and great sleep!

 

X

Katie

 

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