A recent study of women found that about 50% of the women in the study had sleep apnea. Other studies show that even mild sleep apnea has a more significant effect on a woman’s health. Yet women are not having sleep studies and worry less about their sleep than men.
If you want to keep your health and you want to get more done pay attention to the symptoms. That mental fog that you may be experiencing could be because you are sleep deprived. The same is true with morning headaches. Sleep deprivation and the changes in oxygen levels throughout the night can cause you to have issues with your memory as well. We all know someone who is constantly misplacing their keys or forgetting appointments. Maybe it is because they are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
Our hormones also affect our sleep. The changes in our hormones throughout the month can cause changes in our body rhythms and our body temperature. This can cause temporary insomnia or difficulty maintaining sleep. There are some solutions to this including keeping the room cooler or take a warm shower before bed. This will help you feel cooler and your body to know it is time to sleep.
If you are feeling anxious, nervous or moody it could be that you are feeling sleep deprived. We tend to not get enough sleep. This leads to less of an ability to control emotions. It also can lead to eating more because the part of our brain that says we are full is slower to react. If you do not plan for your 7-8 hours sleep each night than maybe consider taking a 20 minute nap in the afternoon. This will help your to refresh your mind so you can feel clear headed.
Women also tend to have issues with limb movement and cramping. This could be due to hormones, anemia or low levels of vitamins. It can also be contributed to sleep apnea if there are significant awakenings and decreases in oxygen.
As women we have a great deal of responsibility to take care of the family and our jobs. We tend to put ourselves last. Taking care of our health and our sleep actually makes us a great role model for our family and allows us to have the energy we need to get it all done.
You think that sleep is mostly about what you do right before you go to bed. This is not the case at all especially for women. There are many things that keep us from sleeping including what we eat, stress and how much we move. If we make some plans we can improve our sleep by reducing out stress, improving our diets, maybe have a little time to work out and possibly save a bit of money.
Plan your food. Not just for the day but for the week. Taking the time to do this little bit of planning and preparing takes a great deal of stress off you for the rest of the week. The food does not have to be very fancy. It can be as simple as yogurt and cereal during the week for breakfast a sandwich and salad for lunch and meatloaf for dinner. The other benefit is the reduced fat and sodium will allow the food to digest better so you can sleep better. If you have GERD or acid reflux you can plan your meals so that you are less symptomatic and it will not disturb your sleep. If this is an issue, consider having your veggies and fruits early in the day and your lighter proteins at night. If breakfast is your problem make muffin cup egg quiche. They also will help to add a little veggie to your morning.
Plan your exercise for the best time for you. I am not a morning person. The idea of getting up early to exercise and actually doing it made me unhappy and more tired. Because I have planned my dinners and cooked some of them ahead of time I am able to go to the gym or to the park right after work and exercise. You should also consider how it is going to affect your sleep. Sometimes the rev you get from working out can keep you from falling asleep. So keep in mind you want to have three hours to unwind after you work out. This does not include exercises you use to unwind such as yoga, meditation or stretching. Those exercises will actually help you since the will center your mind and allow you to relax.
Plan for the stressful situations for the week. If you have to bring the kids to practice straight after work do not include that day as your workout day. We cannot be perfect and we need to find our balance. We can also plan how you are going to unwind afterwards. It might be as simple as taking 10 minutes to read or journal after you put the kids to bed or a bubble bath or a hot shower before bed. Both will help you to unwind and the shower will actually help your body prepare for sleep by helping to bring your body temperature down as you dry off, a signal to your brain that it is time to sleep.
As women we tend to be overschedule and not know how to say no to anything. We do need to make the time for ourselves so we can sleep well so we can be more productive. If we take that little bit of time once a week to plan we will have less stress. It is not about being perfect but removing some of the situations that stress us out so we are able to live better.
Women have a tendency to put everything first. With all the responsibilities one of the first things we tend to put off is sleep. We try to squeeze just one more thing in before we go to bed. The problem is that we do not get enough sleep and then have troubles getting everything done the next day. With a little planning and a few small changes in habits sleep can be back as a time to renew and refresh both body and mind. These 12 small changes will help;