The elusive dream: women and sleep

Published on Society for Women’s Health Research SWHR, by Jennifer Wider, MD, June 5, 2012.

Sleep is an essential part of a woman’s overall health and well-being with adults needing between seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but most are not getting it. A recent study from the National Sleep Foundation in Arlington, VA revealed that the average woman aged 30-60 sleeps less than seven hours during the workweek, woefully short of the recommended amount.

Women are more likely to have difficulty falling and staying asleep than men, and many of the sleep disorders, like insomnia, are more common in women. Sleep apnea is particularly interesting because while it affects more men than women, the incidence among women increases after the age of 50, but the disorder is rarely discussed.

Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that is characterized by headaches, fatigue, interrupted breathing patterns, snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, and it affects one in four American women over the age of 65 … //

… Being overweight is a risk factor for sleep apnea for both genders. During menopause, many women experience an increase in abdominal fat which may contribute to the sharp increase in the prevalence of sleep apnea in older women. Some researchers have suggested hormonal changes, including the menopausal drop in progesterone levels as a possible reason for the rise in sleep apnea cases among older women.

Sleep apnea is connected with long-term health problems. Studies have found the condition to be associated with high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes. Because the clinical presentation varies by gender, it is important that women are aware of the symptoms and address them with their doctors.

Here is a list of possible warning signs for sleep apnea:

  • Waking up with a dry mouth/sore throat
  • Morning headaches
  • Fitful sleep
  • Nighttime awakenings
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating or forgetfulness
  • Moodiness, irritability, depression

There are a number of behavioral modifications and treatments available for sleep apnea, and the earlier the problem is addressed, the more effective they are …
(full text).

Links:

news from the Female Genital Mutilation program, dans 30 May 2012 NPWJ Digest on FGM & women’s rights, published on NPWJ, May 30, 2012;

Elimination des MGF: Djibouti publie un guide pour les imams et les prédicateurs: dans Slate Afrique; et aussi dans Afriquinfos;

Excision: prison ferme pour les parents;

A propos du débat sur la mutilation génitale féminine tenu à Conakry.

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