Sleep and women

Published 04/11 2007 02:48PM

Updated 04/11 2007 02:48PM

Research suggests that women may have more difficulty sleeping than men. According to the United States National Sleep Research Foundation, a large number of women report sleep disturbances associated with menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Women who are pregnant are the most likely to report frequent insomnia symptoms such as difficulty falling asleep, disrupted sleep, and waking too early in the morning. Next in line are postmenopausal women, followed by premenopausal women who aren't pregnant. About half of premenopausal women who report insomnia complain that headaches, tender breasts, menstrual cramps, and bloating disturb their sleep for at least two days a month. Most pregnant women report that their sleep is more disturbed than when they weren't pregnant, and roughly half claim to take at least one nap a week. Women going through menopause generally report that their sleep is disrupted by hot flashes and other symptoms commonly associated with menopause. Although sleeping aids are sometimes useful, most doctors agree that one of the best ways to ensure a good night's sleep is to exercise during the day, avoid napping, and to take time to wind down before going to bed. For more information, consult a healthcare provider in your area.

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