Sleep plays an essential role in maintaining general health. Lack of sleep can result in cases of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases, along with stress and anxiety.
But did you know that there is biological variation when it comes to how sleep affects both men and women? The vicious cycle of getting less sleep and minimal physical activity has dangerous consequences, especially for women. “That’s because women have more hormonal changes throughout their lives,” said Dr. Sibasish Dey, director of medical affairs, Asia and Latin America, ResMed.
“According to many studies, women need about 30 minutes more sleep than men due to hormonal changes due to their monthly menstrual cycle and menopause. Estrogen and progesterone, the two main female sex hormones, can influence chemical systems in the brain that regulate sleep and arousal, ”added Dr. Dey.
Consequences of a poor sleep cycle for women
In a study published in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences., women often face more challenges concentrating than men. This is further compounded by lack of sleep. Dr. Dey adds that “it can also aggravate pre-existing mood disorders, such as anger, depression and anxiety, and can lead to confusion, fatigue, and a lack of vigor, ultimately affecting productivity.”
Not only that it can also affect fertility, as Dr. Dey pointed out. “Long-term lack of sleep can directly affect the release of luteinizing hormone, or LH, the hormone that triggers ovulation to regulate the menstrual cycle and affect fertility. ”
What should women do to get more sleep?
Good sleep has proven effects to improve the physical and mental health of women. It also leads to a better functioning of the circulatory system. Improved collagen production during sleep also delays the appearance of wrinkles.
Here are some tips from Dr. Dey have a healthy sleep regimen:
- Try to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. “Try to sleep between 10 PM and 7 AM and make sure you get at least seven hours of restful sleep on a regular basis.”
- Stop consuming caffeine at least five hours before bed
- A hot shower can help you sleep better.
- Read a book or practice meditation to help your mind relax.
While everyone experiences a lousy night’s sleep from time to time, but if you experience sleepless nights regularly along with symptoms like morning headaches, daytime sleepiness, and loss of productivity, it’s time for you to see a sleep specialist.