For many women in the United States, getting enough sleep is one of the last things on their priority list. With the demands of work, family, etc., women often try to balance it all, which can result in sacrificing a healthy sleep schedule. In some cases, it may feel like a badge of honor to be able to get everything accomplished each day even if that means getting just 4 hours of sleep. The problem with this is even if they’re able to complete all the day has to offer, the lack of sleep could cause them to perform below standards, get distracted easily, and feel unmotivated through tasks. To top it off, many women even identify the need for sleep as a sign of weakness, when in turn, getting the recommended daily amount of sleep actually helps boost performance altogether. As it turns out, sleep is needed for both physical and mental recovery in order for women to be the best versions of themselves in all aspects of their lives.
Addressing Sleep Problems in Women
In more serious cases, there may be a greater sleep issue preventing women from getting the sleep they need. Some women may be suffering from a sleep condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Research has shown that approximately 4% of women experience symptoms of sleep apnea at least once to a few times per week. These symptoms include waking up abruptly from not getting enough air, or mild-to-moderate snoring. While these issues may be pointed out by a bed partner, it’s usually harder to self-identify this condition. For some women, sleep apnea may not even look like sleep apnea because the symptoms are not apparent, and the only way to discover the condition is undergoing a sleep test. In these cases where signs of OSA are not apparent, monitoring daytime fatigue and drowsiness levels may help identify the underlying problem. Feeling constantly fatigued and tired prevents anybody from putting their best foot forward, so it’s important to get ahead of the problem before it escalates into a much greater issue.
While getting a sleep test done is the best way to determine if there is an underlying issue, there are other ways to start getting better sleep. Here are 5 helpful recommendations for improving sleep:
#1: Take time for yourself – Women are often considered the caregivers, so it’s important to not forget about your own care and health. Schedule time to relax and treat yourself — put it on your calendar or to-do list.
#2: Get everyone on the same sleeping schedule – For women with families, it’s beneficial to get everyone in bed and waking up at the same time.
#3: Reduce daily stress – Whether it’s work or personal stress, do mindful activities to bring stress levels down because heightened stress can greatly affect sleep quality. Go for a walk, listen to calming music, or meditate.
#4: Ask for help – Some women take on more than their plate can hold, and it’s okay to ask for help. As tasks add up, valuable sleep time is reduced, so divide and conquer where you can.
#5: Stick to treatment – If you’ve been diagnosed with OSA, be sure to stick to treatment and consult with your healthcare professionals if issues arise.
“My husband was worried for a long time, because he saw that I stopped breathing in my sleep. Now, that I am on treatment, I don’t sleep without it. I know that I am healthier when I use the device.”
Whether sleep problems are caused by external factors like stress at work or a greater issue like sleep apnea, addressing the problem is crucial. Without a healthy amount of sleep on a regular basis, performance suffers, mood deteriorates, and cognition declines. After all, sleep is critical for recovery and everyone needs it to be the best for the different aspects of their lives.
If you have any questions or need more information on how sleep can help you be the best version of yourself, please contact the FusionHealth Participant Resource Center at email@example.com or 1-877-615-7257.
Sources: National Sleep Foundation, Dr. Durmer, WebMD