Sleep Apnoea Articles

Do women sleep better than men

When it comes to the battle of the sexes, who gets better sleep? Insomnia and restlessness at night are all too common among women, especially for middle-aged women. From hormonal changes to the overall stress of a busy life, the deep sleeps of youth can seem like a distant memory for many of us.

The first noticeable shift in a woman’s sleep pattern tends to hit around age 40 (though it can happen anywhere from 40 to 55) as a result of the decline in the production of oestrogen and progesterone, both of which are hormones that promote sleep.* If these hormonal changes aren’t enough to make you envious of your more well-rested partner, stress, depression and a busy lifestyle can also lead to restlessness at night.

To increase your chances of getting a better night’s rest, focus on taking better control over your sleep habits. Instead of lying awake marvelling at your partner’s ability to pass out as soon as his head hits the pillow, here are a few tips to help level the playing field at night:

• Adopt a new bedtime routine. Sticking to the same schedule every night (including weekends) is very important when it comes to reclaiming your sleep. Allow yourself some time before bed to relax and wind down before you turn in for the night.

• Exercise. Adopting a regular workout routine not only lifts your mood and reduces stress, but it can also strengthen circadian rhythms which helps to bring on sleepiness at night.

• Avoid hitting the snooze button. While it may be tempting to catch an extra 40 winks in the morning, or nap during the day if you are feeling extra tired, that can throw off your entire sleep routine.

• Digitally disconnect. If your favourite TV show is on late at night, record it and watch it the next day. Many people use the television to fall asleep or relax at the end of the day, but this activity keeps your mind stimulated and makes it more difficult to fall asleep.

If all else fails and you still find yourself frequently suffering during the day from a poor night’s sleep it might be time to make an appointment with your doctor. There could be an underlying problem, such as sleep apnea, that’s keeping you from getting your much-needed rest.

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* “Menopause,” University of Maryland Medical Centre, accessed September 26, 2014, http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/menopause.

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