Sleep and Women

Woman relaxing in bathtub.

Do you have trouble sleeping? Many women do. Some life changes are unique to women, such as pregnancy or menopause. These changes, along with the demands of family and work, can affect your health and your sleep. Talk to your healthcare provider if your sleep problems last more than a few weeks.

What affects your sleep

Many factors can affect how well you sleep. Hormone changes can cause mood swings, insomnia, and other problems. Balancing many roles, such as mother, partner, worker, and caretaker can also take a toll on your sleep. Worries about these competing demands can keep you awake at night. And, of course, with so much to do, who even has time for sleep? But you need to sleep well to be healthy and have energy. The good news is there are steps you can take to sleep better.

Tips for better sleep

Here are some steps you can take to sleep better:

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day.

  • Exercise regularly. But avoid strenuous exercise 2 hours to 4 hours before bedtime.

  • Learn to relax. Try a warm bath, yoga, or meditation. Reading a book or listening to music can help you relax before bedtime.

  • Create a comfortable setting for sleep. Make sure the room is quiet, dark, and not too hot or too cold.

  • Use your bed only for sleep and sex.

  • Avoid or limit caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.

  • Avoid naps after 3 p.m.

Resources

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

National Sleep Foundation
703-243-1697



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