Sleep Hygiene for Women

It’s known that sleep is necessary for our mental and physical health. But many women can suffer with sleep problems throughout their lifespan: due to hormonal change during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. Also, as we age, we are likely to notice changes in sleep patterns, e.g. harder to fall and stay asleep. Over half of women 65 and over have sleep problems.

Other underlying problems contribute to symptoms of sleeplessness. For example, depression and anxiety are underlying problems to the symptom of insomnia (the inability to fall and stay asleep). Over one in four women are affected by insomnia. When we get a good night’s sleep, healing of the body and mind takes place. It’s a natural living practice and a major component to greater well-being and prevention. Two other major problems for women are Sleepless Leg Syndrome, which tend to be exacerbated by medication; and sleep apena, the stopping and starting breathing during sleep, due to the brain and body not getting enough oxygen. (Source: Womenshealth.gov).

There are many tips out there to address women’s sleep hygiene. It is important to find and stick to remedies that work for us. Here are my Top 5 most effective natural living remedies (that you may already use), which I highly recommend:

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  1. Create and maintain a wind-down routine to prepare for a good night’s sleep, at least one hour before bedtime. (An ideal bedtime is 10:00 PM). Think about what that look and feel like to you.
  2. Maintain a relaxing environment in your sleeping area/bedroom. Only allow relaxing activities in your sleeping environment. No electronic devices or television.
  3. Wear loose fitting night wear. Interestingly, melatonin production is restricted by 60% due to wearing tight fitting night wear (Source: The Feel Good Plan).
  4. Use natural remedies:
    • Melatonin (Liquid form if faster absorption)
    • Herbal Tea (Lavender and Chamomile)
    • Slow and rhythmic breathing (e.g. Breathe in counting to four, breathe out, counting to 5. Let your in breaths be less counting than your out breaths).
  5. Wear ear plugs and a sleep mask. Making the sleeping area as pitch black as possible allows greater melatonin production in the dark. Wearing ear plugs allows for deeper serenity and solitude.
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While it’s normal to wake up in the middle of the night. However, instead of tossing and turning all night or any amount of time, remove yourself from the sleep environment, and do something like reading. If tempted to eat or drink something have light foods that induce sleep, e.g. Fresh organic tart red cherries or 100% tart cherry juice. Then, try to relax back to sleep. If you are still challenged, know that good rest beats poor sleep. This way of thinking takes the pressure off and we are more able to surrender to sleep. (Source: The Feel Good Plan). Give your self time; it takes 21 days to change a habit or behavior.

Surrender to the dark night where peace, tranquility and perfect sleep await you.

Ms. Vichy M.S, B.A.

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