Women more stressed by insomnia - Observer
"Whether it's due to partners snoring, nagging consciences or the stresses and anxieties of modern life, new research has revealed that women are almost 20 per cent more likely to suffer insomnia than men.
A year-long investigation by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) into the sleeping habits of more than 2,000 women aged from 18 to 64 has found that almost two-thirds had between one and three disturbed nights every week. Almost 70 per cent said they frequently experience a sleep problem.
This compares to 52 per cent of men who say they suffer insomnia a few nights a week or more.
The study reflects research in a new book by the founder of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Dr Meir Kryger, author of Can't Sleep, Can't Stay Awake: A Woman's Guide To Sleep Disorders. 'Unlike men, women have sleep problems related to hormonal and bodily changes from menstruation, pregnancy and menopause,' he said.
'Unfortunately, too often it is women whose sleep disorders are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because of a lack of education among doctors about these unique problems. This failure by doctors to correctly diagnose female sleeplessness is meaning sufferers are putting their health at risk while contributing to dramatic rises in obesity and diabetes.
'Women lose sleep because of their role in the family and the demands of today's 24/7 world,' he added.
Kryger said that women's disorders are often missed because, although they have the same sleep disorders as men, the way they react to sleeplessness is very different. 'The problem is compounded by the likelihood that women will not even realise symptoms in themselves indicating that they have sleep disorders,' he said. 'For example, women with sleep apnea - temporarily stopping breathing while asleep - have symptoms of depression more often than men with apnea.'
Kryger claimed that female sleeplessness is frequently misdiagnosed by doctors because of a widespread belief that women rarely suffer sleep problems, combined with the fact that insomnia manifests itself differently in women to how it does in men."
Well it's refreshing and very welcome to read of a male - and a medic at that - who takes women's sleep problems seriously...(o:
Here is my take on common, but unrecognised causes of insomnia in women:
Insufficient food. - Women are often chronically hungry because they are dieting/'slimming'/watching their weight/counting calories, etc and may be going to bed hungry and so less likely to sleep.
There is a positive correlation between being overweight and suffering from insomnia. There is also a positive correlation between being overweight and experiencing more pain. There is a positive correlation between depression and insomnia. The primary cause of overweight/obesity is fluid retention, and for many reasons, including childbirth, pre-menstrual tension and dieting/insufficient food, women are more prone to fluid retention than men are.
Insufficient calcium and insufficient vitamin D that is necessary to metabolise the calcium. - Calcium helps you to relax. Women tend to be short of calcium because people often tell them to cut down on dairy foods to lose weight or to reduce fat intake. But it is not necessary or desirable to cut down on milk. (Best to cut down on cheese though, because it contains a lot of salt.) Cutting down on milk will not make you slim. - AND more calcium WILL help you to lose excess weight because extra calcium in the diet reduces fat retention....(o: - Danish research shows that eating extra dairy calcium, as in dairy yoghurt, increases, in a perfectly natural and safe, healthy way, the amount of fat lost in the faeces. It was shown on a BBC2 programme earlier this year. - BBC webpage about calcium from The Truth About Food series of programmes - Maybe you should copy the whole page in case it ever disappears from the BBC's website. - Note: it does not require you to eat less or reduce calorie intake - only to eat MORE calcium. - If you do try the yoghurt, make sure it's the normal dairy yoghurt, not the extremely low fat stuff,, 'cos that's always crammed with dodgy chemicals...)o: If you don't like yoghurt, get some supplement tablets containing a mixture of calcium and magnesium (also necessary to reduce fluid retention and depression) from your local health food store and take them in accordance with the instructions on the pack. They will help with any night cramps that are disturbing you too.
Prescription drugs, especially steroids, HRT, some birth control pills and antidepressants, are a major cause of salt sensitivity/sodium retention/water retention and therefore a major cause of obesity, insomnia, avoidable pain, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc. so if you possibly can, it is best to avoid prescribed drugs. - And MIND, the respected mental health charity, found that a walk in the country was more successful than antidepressants at relieving depression, and of course there are no bad side-effects to a walk in the country.
The way to reduce fluid retention is to eat less salt and salty food - or better still, cut it out completely. - Your body will still have enough sodium, because every scrap or food and every drop of water contains a little salt, and that is all the salt your body needs. And eat plenty of fruit and fresh vegetables because they help to rid the body of excess sodium and excess fluid.
Lose weight and benefit your health in countless other ways by eating less salt! - Go on! - Try it! - You will feel so much better! -
How to Lose weight!
See my website http://www.wildeaboutsteroids.co.uk/ (The site does not sell anything and has no banners or sponsors or adverts - just helpful information.)
Read my Mensa article on Obesity and the Salt Connection
See Sodium in foods
I can be contacted via my website if you need my further help. My help is free...(o:
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Women more stressed by insomnia - Observer