Women Sleep Less than Men, New Survey Finds

When it comes to quality of sleep among Americans, men seem to outperform women, a new survey from the Better Sleep Council has found. The male participants of the survey often bragged about getting adequate amounts of sleep, while the women were considerably less likely to get a good night’s rest.

The Sleep Gap between the Sexes

The survey found that a vast majority—84 percent—of female participants found that sleep is important to their health. However, compared to men, the women fell short of getting recommended amounts of sleep each night. The male participants earned a positive 72 percent score for sleeping well at night. This is only slightly above the 70 percent score average American adults of both sexes received from the researchers. Overall, both men and women were lacking enough sleep.

The researchers found that men got better sleep because they tended to engage in more positive sleep habits. More than a third of the male participants slept alone, thus reducing distractions. More men minimized stress levels, followed strict bedtime rituals including on weekends, and didn’t consume caffeinated drinks after lunchtime, leading to overall better sleep than the women.

Women experienced considerable barriers to uninterrupted sleep—mainly their loved ones. Women were more likely than men to let kids or pets sleep in their beds. Such distraction-causing bedtime habits caused women to miss sleep more. Women were also considerably more likely to have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

Mounting Evidence for a Sleep Epidemic among Women

Other surveys have also found women to lack more sleep than men. A 2007 poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that women are more likely than men to suffer from sleep disorders. Women with children are often the last to go to bed at night, resulting in less sleep.

Both men and women require at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, according to guidelines set by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Sleep deprivation is linked to a number of adverse health conditions among both sexes, including increased risk for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and mood disorders like anxiety.

A study of 71,000 female nurses who regularly got less than 5 hours of sleep at night found that the sleep-deprived women were more likely to develop diabetes and cardiovascular problems compared to those who slept 8 hours a night. Women who are most likely to lose sleep were corporate women, who worked long hours at the office and commuted a lot, often losing out on sleep in the process. It’s estimated that more than a third of American working women are seriously sleep-deprived.

Why Women Sleep Less

Scientific research indicates several reasons why women lack sleep compared to men. As mentioned above, lifestyle is a major contributing factor. Women often work long hours and when they come home, they are tasked with looking after children. Working mothers don’t go to sleep until their children are asleep and the school bags for the following day are packed. Women prioritize the needs of the family over their individual need to sleep well.

Other biological factors may also play a role. Female sex hormones tune body clocks to wake up earlier compared to men. The menstrual cycle can also play a role, particularly menopause. Pregnant women experience sleep disturbances, which can continue even after the baby is born (mostly because of the crying baby).

Certain diseases, such as restless leg syndrome, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and obstructive sleep apnea, can keep women awake at night as well. Another factor is the bed partner, which is likely to be a male who snores and moves around a lot in their sleep.

Medical professionals recommend that women address this issue head-on and actively sleep at least 20 minutes more than the healthy 7 hours a night. Developing good sleeping habits is at the forefront of tackling this particular gender-oriented problem.

7 Scientifically-Baked Ways to Get Rid of Worries

When it comes to being a healthy person, most of us think about having a good physical health only. While it’s important to prevent illnesses, mental health also plays a significant role in your overall well-being that affects your mood and motivation. Believe it or not, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S these days, and the number of stress-inducers is growing rapidly: difficult work schedule, tough deadlines, a misunderstanding with friends and family, troubles at home, an imbalance between work and life, etc.

Balanced Healthy Nutrition

Proper nutrition guarantees a good number of vitamins that keep your body physically and mentally well. It also protects brain cells by increasing blood flow to your brain, and you start thinking better. When you’re about to burn out, your body may deny eating, but it’s important to keep a balanced diet to get all significant elements, minerals, and vitamins.

A list of products that help to remove stress and anxiety:

  • avocados
  • chamomile or green tea
  • walnuts
  • dark chocolate
  • blueberries

A healthy diet is not just about keeping fit; it’s also about enriching your organism with important vitamins to keep its proper work on fighting against various diseases, including mental ones.

Have Enough Sleep Daily

Sleep allows you to recharge the brain and let the body rest. It helps to reduce stress and keep your body energetic. If you’re about to burn out, your body has a set of signs to fight against this state. In fact, worries and anxiety cause sleep problems, but having enough sleep daily is a way out to prevent stress. It seems to be a closed circle. As most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per day, you need to ensure that your body gets a proper amount of rest daily.

Create a Perfect Environment at Work

You spend around 10.3 years of your life working, and that’s what matters. Your workplace has an impact on your well-being, and it’s important to create a perfect environment, an atmosphere that will stimulate and motivate you. To organize a good workplace, you need to think about everything, including the smallest details: the color of the walls, a comfortable office chair, well-organized table with shelves for keeping stuff, an inspirational corner, and much more.

Key takeaways:

  • blue and green are the most effective colors to diffuse anxiety
  • cactus and aloe are the most common plants for your office desk
  • keeping everything at its place enhances productivity
  • proper lighting at work reduces eyestrain and improves overall well-being
  • having motivational things at the workplace boosts inspirational

While most people try to create a comfortable house, just a few of us think about having a comfortable workplace at the office. To reduce the risks of burning out, create a perfect environment that is aimed at improving your physical and mental health.

Develop Self-Knowledge and Awareness

It goes without saying that all people are different, and every of us has habits that affect our normal life. If you know that it’s in your nature to think much about worries, you can work on it in order to get rid of a bad mood. The more you know your character and typical behavior, the better. To develop self-knowledge and awareness, you need to work hard by discovering more about yourself. If you know a lot about yourself, it’s easier to detect what worries are just a figment of your imagination.

Establish Deep and Reliable Relationships

Humans are social creatures, no matter what type of person you are. It’s in our nature to communicate with other people, and this process is important for your well-being. If you’re an introvert or extrovert, you need to have good relations with family, friends, and colleagues to feel safety as it’s a proof of being a member of a group. Once anxiety comes, communication with reliable people helps to identify the roots of this disorder and find solutions for fighting against it. Having deep and reliable relationships is a must for humans.

Own a Pet

Since ancient times, humans have had relationships with animals. Keeping a pet at home is a common practice nowadays, but it also lowers stress even if you don’t think about. One study finds that keeping dogs as pets help children reduce stress. At the same time, taking care of someone requires consideration, responsibility, and time. In other words, you stay focused on carrying about pets instead of thinking much about potential worries.

Take an Action

If you’re interested in finding out ways to get rid of worries, it’s a good sign that you’ve accepted this problem. Once you know that anxiety hits you, take an action. Although understanding the problem is good, the best way to solve it is to work on finding solutions. Many scientists claim that fears and problems are nowhere but in your head, and if you can accept this fact, you’re about to stop worrying once and for all. If any additional proof needed, pay attention to the fact that 85% of what you worry about never happens, a study reveals.

Mental health maintenance requires a lot of work, and to get rid of worries, you need to have a desire to do it. If you understand that worries prevent you from living a good and happy life, its high time to find what works well for you when it comes to staying calm and satisfied.

5 Practical Ways to Take Better Care of Our Mental Health

Though most of us recognize the benefits of investing time and effort on physical health and fitness, this is hardly the case when it comes to mental health. Admittedly, I too failed to acknowledge its importance but it all changed years ago when I found myself working for a non-profit organization which focuses on providing mental health support.

Through this experience, I learned firsthand that maintaining a good state of mental health is as crucial if not more – as maintaining our physical health.

When it comes to mental health illnesses, prevention is certainly better than cure as they can be difficult and very costly to treat. More importantly, having good mental health not only prevents us from developing mental health issues, it also enhances our ability to create and live out our best lives. It has been scientifically proven that those who are emotionally healthy tend to be more resilient, confident and able to handle life’s challenges with a more positive attitude.

Luckily, taking care of and improving our mental health is hardly rocket science. When given attention on a regular basis, it can actually be quite easy! Here, I’ll highlight five simple tips that I’ve personally found to be helpful in improving overall psychological health and well-being:

1. Set Aside Some ‘Me’ Time

With so much on our plate, we often find ourselves ended up putting our own needs on the back burner. In order to have a healthier state of mind, we need to end this habit and pay more attention to our needs. If this is something that you struggle with, know that self-care is not selfish. Remember that when you tend to your own needs first, you are more likely to be able to offer your best self to others as a result.

Start by making a commitment to do something you enjoy a few times a week. Whether it’s taking a leisurely walk in the park, drawing yourself a bubble bath, reading, or playing with your pet, dedicating some time to indulge in something that gives you joy is a must in maintaining a good state of emotional health and well-being.

2. Practice Meditation

As unbelievable as it sounds, setting aside at least 10 minutes to meditate each day can do wonders for your mental state. Think of daily meditation as an exercise for our brain that offers an abundance of benefits including improved focus, reduced levels of stress, and anxiety as well as mental health maintenance.

In fact, a study done by Harvard Researchersat Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) found that by meditating only for 8 weeks, participants were able to significantly changed the brain’s gray matter, a major part of the central nervous system that is associated with processing information and providing nutrients and energy to neurons. Dr. Britta Holzel, who was part of the team that conducted the study, explained: “It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation; we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life.”

3. Express Gratitude

Acknowledging our appreciation for the things that we already have enabled us to focus on the good that already exists in our lives and this creates feelings of joy. Appreciation is potent to fight off anxiety and worry because when we feel joy, we feel more excitement and optimism for life.

We can express our gratitude by reading our list of “Thank You’s” out loud before starting out our day every morning, writing it in a gratitude journal and/or simply by quietly expressing gratitude for things and people we are thankful for as we go about our day.

4. Get Adequate Sleep

Countless research found that we are able to best perform and are most energized when we get adequate sleep on a daily basis. Though the exact amount of sleep one needs differfrom one person to another, adults generally need about 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night to function optimally and be in a prime state of mind to make important decisions.

If you currently only get about half of the recommended amount of sleep, it’s helpful to start by adding 30 minutes to your normal sleep hours and gradually increase it. Soon enough, you’ll be getting plenty of sleep and be more ready to tackle whatever obstacles life throws at you.

5. Share Your Story

Going through tough times? Keeping it bottled up can be detrimental to your mental health in the long run. So, it’s best to let it out and share your story.

Though many of us find it difficult to share our hardships with others, keep in mind that everyone faces challenges and they may just be able to relate to your experience as well as offer a shoulder to lean on. More importantly, sharing our innermost thoughts to someone we trust and care about, acknowledges that we trust them enough to be vulnerable and often times, ends up bringing the relationship closer.

That said, if you are not ready to divulge your feelings and emotions to loved ones, I recommend for you to seek out a licensed mental health professional (a counselor/therapist/psychologist) and make an appointment. Alternatively, you can also call a mental health support hotline available in your area that will give you some support as well as the comforting reassurance that you’re not alone.


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