Women need more sleep than men. However, they struggle to fall asleep or can’t sleep for longer. This means either they are getting insufficient or poor-quality sleep (insomniaa state of hyperarousal). Because of their busy schedule that comprises professional work(paid), unpaid labour (at home), family caregiving and other multi-tasking, they are forced to sacrifice their sleep.
Another primary reason for sleep deprivation is attributed to the change in lifestyles, intrusion of electronic gadgets in the bedroom, late nights at work, caffeine, and binge-watching on TV and smartphones. The outcome in such a scenario leads to issues like overall wellbeing, including weight gain, cardiovascular risks, diabetes, insomnia, fatigue, morning headaches, reduced daytime cognitive function, restless legs syndrome, stress and depression, along with cognitive impairment, hypothyroidism, and dementia How can you improve your sleep? Resorting to sleep medication will not solve the problem.
Rather these drugs can cause side effects like drowsiness, abdominal discomfort, appetite changes, dizziness, headaches, strange dreams, etc. Hence avoid taking pills unless prescribed.
Try out these good sleep hygiene tips to improve your sleep cycles:
1. Prepare a peaceful setting in your bedroom. Do away with the electronic device, dim the lights, and set the bedroom temperature between 18-23 degrees Celsius.
2. Do meditation just before going to sleep as it induces relaxation, releases stress and increases sleep Hormones / cortisol.
3. Follow a consistent bedtime routine for yourself and small kids.
4. Go for a warm bath or shower. But avoid sleeping with damp or wet hair.
5. Wear light and comfortable clothing.
6. Limit what you drink before bed and use the restroom just before jumping in your bed.
7. Avoid spicy and oily food for dinner.
8. Reduce Alcohol, Caffeine, Tea and Nicotine Intake.
9. Exercise regularly. Even a twenty minutes yoga class or brisk walking in the evening can be beneficial to your sleep and overall well-being.
10. Invest in your sleep: Replace your old mattress and pillows and adopt the proper sleep position..
Remember, your brain doesn’t shut down when you sleep, so try to send positive sleep affirmations to your subconscious mind. “I have done my best today and deserve a good night’s sleep to recharge.”
Few statistics related to sleep in India
• Believe it or not, India is the 2nd most sleep deprived country on the planet. 93% of Indians are sleep deprived.
• More than 50% of the population in India goes to sleep between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m
• Women have a lifetime risk of insomnia that is as much as 40% higher than men.
• 28 million people suffer from sleep apnea in India (14% in men and 12% in women)
• Sleep apnea is most commonly found in women above 40, menopausal women, overweight females and pregnant women due to hormonal changes.
• People don’t take the benefits of using proper sleep aids/essentials (such as mattresses, type of pillows) seriously.
• Inappropriate sleeping position. Remember-Your body shape alters with age, so your relaxation position