Sleep is a basic human physiological need and, if neglected, it can have very dangerous effects on yourself and as well as others. When we're pressed for time, it is usually our sleep that has to be sacrificed. This is generally okay – we all do it once in awhile. The danger is when you get caught in a cycle of stress and lack of sleep. This results in a higher risk of accidents because of daytime sleepiness, poor performance at work or in school, plus an increased risk of weight gain and certain illnesses.
Unfortunately for us women, studies show that we are more likely to have difficulty falling and staying asleep than men. This is mainly because of biological and physiological reasons. However, external factors like the environment, social circle and cultural background can also greatly affect a woman's sleep pattern. Below, we reveal some secrets about sleep that women (as well as men) should know about, which can definitely help with their daily life and overall health.
Secret #1: Women need more sleep than men
We’ve all heard the statement that we need at least eight hours of sleep every night. This generally goes for both men and women. But for many of us, the reality is that eight hours is a luxury. Some can manage with only six hours while others might need nine. There are many factors that can influence this – genetic factors, medical factors, gender, etc.
According to a sleep expert Dr. Jim Horne, women need more sleep than men. This is because women tend to use more of their actual brain by multitasking than men. Thus, they generally need more time to refresh so they can function better. However, women don't always get this because of different factors as well. For example, pregnancy, periods, and menopause.
Another reason why women need more sleep is that women need more ‘beauty sleep.’ Have you ever wondered why most beauty products are targeted for women? According to the International Dermal Institute, a woman's skin tends to age faster than men’s, because men have more collagen density. So, to prevent premature aging, women need to sleep more.
Secret #2: Your sleeping position can affect your health and appearance
Most sleep experts say that the best sleeping position is on your back. This is because it promotes a natural alignment of the spine and neck, thus preventing any future aches. It’s also great for the skin, especially if you want to prevent wrinkles on your face or sagging of your breasts.
The other sleeping positions are on your side and on your tummy. There are different variations for each, with their own pros and cons. Among the two, sleeping on your side is better than on your tummy. The tummy is said to be the worst because it doesn’t promote proper alignment of the spine. It also keeps your head on the side for too long which can cause neck pains.
Sleeping on the side is great and seems to be the most comfortable considering it’s the most common for both men and women. For pregnant women, it is even ideal - particularly on the left side - because it promotes proper circulation for the mother and baby. The downside of this position is that it may cause premature wrinkling because of the pressure against the face. It can also hasten sagging breasts.
Secret #3: Women are more prone to sleep disturbances than men
As mentioned earlier, a woman’s body undergoes changes in the body that men don’t undergo – menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Each change affects how she sleeps. When she is pregnant, she may wake up more frequently during the night because of fetal movement and hormone changes. During menopause, a woman gets hot flashes which may cause difficulty in sleeping. During her period, she may feel some discomfort and have hormonal changes that affect her sleep.
With this in mind, a woman can prepare in advance so that she can have a better night’s sleep. If you are married or have someone who can be responsible for you, they can help you get comfortable. There are many things you can do to fall and stay asleep, especially for those difficult days. To name a few, there’s exercise, diet, a bedtime routine, and not having caffeine in the afternoon.
Secret #4: Lack of sleep is worse for women than for men
Yes, as much as we hate to admit it, men can handle sleep deprivation better than us. According to sleep.org, women tend to display more anger and hostility when they don't get enough sleep. This goes back to how women generally use more of their brain than men. In turn, they need more sleep to function and to feel better.
Sleeping, in general, is important for all humans – men and women alike. However, because our bodies are different, it affects us differently. I hope these secrets will become more known to women so we can all get the proper sleep we need. Women need it more for beauty purposes and for mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Men need it too – but women need it more.
I hope this article helps you understand your sleeping needs more than before. I also hope it will motivate and help you to make the necessary changes so you can function better.
Sandra offers more advice about sleeping and choosing the best mattresses and pillows on BedtimeFriends.
Now that you’ve understood your sleeping needs better than before, the next step is to make the necessary changes so that you can function better. Go to BokYogaRetreats.com and choose a pampering yoga wellness retreat.