A Closer Look at Womans Sleep Health

According to Dr. Andrew Varga of NYU Sleep Disorders Center who recently appeared on NBC’s Today Show, woman are sleep deprived.  Surprised?  You should be.  I know that I always thought of men staying up late to do things like watch movies or play games.  Not the case, apparently women are having their own late nights.

According to the segment a quarter of Today Show viewers who are woman got five or fewer hours of sleep.  That’s shocking and here’s why, sleep is more important than we previously knew.  In what ways?

  • Brain aging is accelerated due to sleep deprivation
  • Physical performance is decreased when you sleep less than seven hours
  • Mental performance decreases
  • Memory suffers

Why focus on Woman?

As the roles of men and woman in the workforce merge, the stress of work life has steadily crept into women’s health.  While integration of men and women in the workforce is fantastic, the introduction of “work stress” into the female health world is not ideal.  In the book, Why Zebra’s Don’t Get Cancer, the author points out that stress has as bad an effect on health as smoking.  That’s right, smoking and stress are about equally bad.  Of course, moderate levels of stress can keep you sharp and energized.  Stress isn’t to be avoided, but long term, excessive stress is to be avoided.

In addition to stress, women tend to have hormonal differences that make them more prone to restless nights and sleep deprivation.  So, what should woman do?

Get more sleep and here’s how:

  • Relax in the evening and make time to relax
  • Unplug and unwind before bed – no more late night TV and cell phone use
  • Keep a cool and comfortable bedroom with good bedding
  • Consider a separate room if your partner interrupts your sleep

The key is to understand that sleep is important

Real Life

One of my neighbors (great woman) told me she really struggled with insomnia.  She said she would go to be and just stare at the ceiling.  She was so nervous about her children, her dogs, or just life that she couldn’t sleep.  Eventually, this is going to catch up with her and her health will suffer if she doesn’t address the problem.  How can you deal with insomnia?

Go to bed later… No, the most common advice for insomnia seems to be to limit your sleep each night until you become so exhausted you sleep well.  Then, gradually increase the amount of sleep you get each night until you are sleeping well for seven hours per night.  Who would have thought?

It’s no secret we love good pillows, that’s what this site is about.  You can learn more about CPAP pillows on our homepage.  If you want help winding down in the evening you could check out our friend’s blog on yoga.

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