Sleep plays a crucial role in supporting women's overall health and well-being. Adequate sleep has been linked to improved cognitive function, better mood, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and enhanced immune function. Additionally, sleep is crucial for hormone regulation, which can impact women's reproductive health, mood, and energy levels.
Women can experience a variety of sleep problems due to various factors, including hormonal changes, lifestyle factors, and health conditions. Here are some of the most common reasons why women may have trouble sleeping: (1)
- Hormonal Changes: Women experience hormonal changes throughout their lives, including during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause. These changes can affect the quality and quantity of sleep, as well as cause sleep disturbances such as insomnia.
- Lifestyle Factors: Women's lifestyles can also impact their sleep quality. Busy schedules, shift work, and caregiving responsibilities can make it challenging to get enough sleep. Additionally, caffeine and alcohol consumption, as well as lack of exercise, can also impact sleep quality.
- Mental Health Conditions: Women are at higher risk of experiencing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, which can interfere with sleep. These conditions can cause sleep disturbances such as insomnia, nightmares, and daytime fatigue.
- Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and chronic pain, can cause sleep disturbances and make it challenging to get restful sleep. Additionally, conditions such as thyroid disease and chronic fatigue syndrome can impact sleep quality.
- Age-related Changes: Women may experience sleep problems as they age, including changes in sleep architecture, insomnia, and sleep-disordered breathing. These changes can be due to hormonal shifts, medical conditions, and lifestyle changes.
Five Strategies to Improve Sleep for Women:
Establish a Regular Sleep Routine
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can help regulate your body's internal clock and improve the quality of your sleep. Aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and avoid oversleeping on the weekends.
Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment
Your sleep environment can impact the quality of your sleep. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet to promote relaxation. Invest in comfortable bedding and pillows that support your sleeping position.
Limit Caffeine and Alcohol Consumption
Caffeine and alcohol can interfere with sleep quality and disrupt the natural sleep cycle. Limit your caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon and evening. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime, as it can interfere with REM sleep.(2)
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation, can help calm your mind and promote relaxation. Incorporate these techniques into your bedtime routine to promote better sleep.
Get Regular Exercise
Regular exercise can improve sleep quality and duration, reduce stress, and improve overall health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily, but avoid strenuous exercise close to bedtime.
We all need a little help sometimes. Sleep supplements can provide benefits such as improving sleep quality, reducing the time it takes to fall asleep, and increasing the total duration of sleep.
Nervine: Nervines are herbs that specifically help support the nervous system. One of the most commonly used nervine herbs is Eschscholzia californica (California poppy). With hundreds of years of use in traditional herbal medicine, California poppy has many potential benefits.
Perhaps most notably, it has mild sedative properties that can help promote relaxation, improve sleep quality and help reduce anxiety and stress. It is also an analgesic (pain reliever) and has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms of pain in conditions such as arthritis.
Provita Nervine is a safe and non-addictive vegan formula that synergistically combines the nervine herb California poppy with Hawthorn berry. A study carried out in France concluded that there is a complementary effect of California poppy and Hawthorn berry; the study found that anxiety modifies cardiac rhythm which can then be controlled by a good Hawthorn berry source.
Ashwagandha: This synergistic blend of Ashwagandha and magnesium can help with alleviating stress, anxiety, insomnia, and fatigue in our everyday life. Used since ancient times, Ashwagandha is also referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of its long standing use in Ayurvedic medicine and its rejuvenating properties.
Ashwagandha is often referred to as an adaptogen, meaning it can help the body cope with stress. It has been shown to reduce levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress and anxiety and, as a result, can help improve sleep quality.
Other benefits of Ashwagandha include its ability to enhance cognitive function and memory, as well as improve reaction time and task performance. Ashwagandha has been shown to enhance the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells, which help fight off infections and diseases. Moreover, Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce inflammation in the body.
Remember to prioritize self-care and consult a healthcare provider if you struggle with sleep issues or before you take supplements.
(1) National Sleep Foundation. (2021). Women and sleep. Retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/women-and-sleep.
- National Institute of Mental Health. (2021). Women and mental health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/women-and-mental-health/index.shtml.
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2021). Sleep disorders in women. Retrieved from https://aasm.org/resources/factsheets/women/.
- 3. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Women's health: Sleep problems. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/womens-health/art-20043827.
- 4. Sleep Education. (2021). Women and sleep. Retrieved from https://www.sleepeducation.org/women-and-sleep/.
(2) National Sleep Foundation. (2021). Alcohol and sleep. Retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/alcohol-and-sleep.