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Study Says Women in Midlife Aren’t Sleeping Enough—We Yawn in Agreement

posted: 09/14/17
by: Amanda Mushro
Sleepy woman in bed
iStock

We already know that women need more sleep than men, but it seems that most women in their 40s and 50s aren't getting enough sleep. So if you are feeling tired every morning and you've tried all of the latest sleep tips like grabbing your dog and wearing a warm pair of socks to bed and you still can't catch some shut eye, you might have your age to blame.

According to a new study from the National Center for Health Statistics, 35 perfect of women in midlife get less than seven hours of sleep per night and almost 20 percent of women in this age range report having trouble falling asleep four or more times per week. Sleep experts agree, women in their 40s and 50s should clock in seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but women are reporting they aren't sleeping that many hours.

A contributing factor to these restless nights is a woman's changing hormones and may explain why different age groups of women are tossing and turning at night. For the study, over 2,800 women were surveyed and separated into three groups: premenopausal, perimenopausal and postmenopausal. The perimenopausal women -- those in the beginning stages of menopause -- were most likely to sleep less than seven hours per night. Postmenopausal women were also likely to have trouble falling and staying asleep.

While sleep duration changes with age, researchers were surprised to see the difficulty women reported trying to get a great night's sleep. "I was surprised to learn that nearly one in two women (in the report) did not wake up feeling well rested four times or more in the past week," said Anjel Vahratian, author of the report.

The amount of sleep we get each night goes beyond feeling awake and alert the following day. Poor sleep patterns can lead to major health problems like heart disease and worsen the symptoms of menopause. Hopefully with this new information, women of every age can do all the things that help us sleep better: stay away from caffeine, get exercise, and turn off our devices at night, and if those tips don't work, at least you can call up your gal pals because there is a good chance they are up too.