Women not getting enough sleep

A recent National Sleep Foundation poll reveals that women are not getting enough sleep. According to the poll, “More than half of American women (60%) say they only get a good night´s sleep a few nights per week or less and 67% say they frequently experience a sleep problem. Additionally, 43% say that daytime sleepiness interferes with their daily activities. Women’s lack of sleep affects virtually every aspect of their time-pressed lives, leaving them late for work, stressed out, too tired for sex and little time for their friends.

The NSF poll revealed that working women (72%) and single working women (68%) are more likely to suffer symptoms of sleep disorders like insomnia. The report also states that 74% of stay-at-home mothers experience symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights per week; and that as many as 59% wakeup feeling tired.

According to the NSF, lack of sleep is associated with poor mood, and 79% of women polled report feeling stressed and anxious.

“People who have trouble sleeping often develop elaborate routines over time,” says Phil Gehrman, PhD, CBSM, assistant professor of psychiatry and clinical director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine program at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “They become very sensitive to anything they think might threaten their sleep; and one of the things that can disturb sleep is a bed partner.”

We are buried by radio and TV advertising for sleep medications; and even our own doctors are over prescribing sedatives and sleep-inducing pharmaceuticals. Sleep-inducing pharmaceutical products can cause more problems than they solve. A study commissioned by the Food and Drug Administration reported that sleep medications can cause sleep-walking, sleep-eating and even sleep-driving. The more bizarre and dangerous behaviors are linked to sedative-hypnotic products, the class of drugs that help a person fall asleep and stay asleep. A serious consequence of pharmaceutical sleep products are allergic reactions, which on accession are serious enough to cause death.

According to Richard Gelula, the NSF´s CEO, “People who sleep well, in general, are happier and healthier.” When sleep is poor or inadequate, people feel tired or fatigued, their social and intimate relationships suffer, work productivity is negatively affected, and they make our roads more dangerous by driving while sleepy and less alert.
Concerns about feeling sleepy at the wheel, is nothing to snooze at. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsiness accounts for 100,000 police-reported automobile crashes each year. An NSF report on a study by Knipling and Wang (Office of Motor Carrier Research and Standards Federal Highway Administration) showed that car accidents related to sleep deprivation resulted in more than 1,500 fatalities and 71,000 injuries per year.

There is good news for men and women alike who dream of a happy and satisfactory life in and out of bedroom. Bettina Rasmussen, the CEO of BachFlower.com announce that at last a non-habit forming and fast acting natural sleep aid from the makers of Bach Rescue Remedy® is available for purchase. Bach Flower has been a trusted name in natural non-addictive remedies for more than 80 years. Bach Flower Remedies have an enthusiastic following which includes Dr. Oz (Dr. Oz Show), Dr. Phil (Dr. Phil Show), Oprah Winfrey; and many public figures that live under a lot of stress, such as Selma Hayek, Emma Watson, Jennifer Anniston, Cate Blanche, Martha Stewart and countless others.

According to Bettina Rasmussen, Bach Flower Rescue Sleep and Rescue Sleep Melts are now available at your favorite health food and nutrition stores; or can be ordered conveniently online at www.DirectlyFromNature.com or by calling 800 214 2850.

Tips for Better Sleep

Go to bed and get up at the same time each day.

Avoid caffeine, nicotine, beer, wine, and liquor in the four to six hours before bedtime.

Don’t exercise within two hours of bedtime.

Don’t eat large meals within two hours of bedtime.

Don’t nap later than 3 p.m.

Sleep in a dark, quiet room that isn’t too hot or cold for you.

If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something quiet until you feel sleepy.

Wind down in the 30 minutes before bedtime by doing something relaxing, such as
reading or listening to music.

What is Anxiety? What Causes Anxiety?

Anxiety affects our whole being. It affects how we feel, how we behave and has very real physical symptoms.

It feels a bit like fear but whereas we know what we are frightened of, we often don’t know what we are anxious about.

Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling – severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating. 

What causes anxiety?

Anxiety is often triggered by stress in our lives. Some of us are more vulnerable to anxiety than others, but even those who become anxious easily can learn to manage it well. We can also make ourselves anxious with “negative self-talk” – a habit of always telling ourselves the worst will happen.

How will I recognize anxiety?

As well as feeling apprehensive and worried (possibly without knowing why), you may experience some of the following physical symptoms:

  • Tense muscles
  • Trembling
  • Churning stomach
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headache
  • Backache
  • Heart palpitations
  • Numbness or “pins and needles” in arms, hands or legs
  • Sweating/flushing

When is anxiety a problem?

We all become anxious from time to time. It becomes a problem when it interferes with life in the absence of real threat, or goes on too long after the danger has past.

What if I just avoid things that make me anxious?

Avoiding situations that make you anxious might help you feel better in the short term. The trouble is the anxiety keeps returning, and has a habit of spreading to other situations. This can lead to you avoiding things like shops, crowded places, lectures or tutorials. So although avoidance makes you feel better –

  • Relief is only temporary – you may worry about what will happen next time.
  • Every time you avoid something it is harder next time you try to face it.
  • Gradually you want to avoid more and more things.

OK, so what else can I do to feel better?

  • Learn to manage stress in your life. Keep an eye on pressures and deadlines and make a commitment to taking time out from study or work.
  • Learn a variety of relaxation techniques. Physical relaxation methods and meditation techniques really do help. We have some relaxation tapes at Student Counselling that will help you get started. Health food shops also sell a variety of relaxation tapes.
  • Look after your physical self. Eat healthily, get regular exercise and try to keep a regular sleep pattern. Avoid alcohol, cannabis and junk food.
  • Practise deep abdominal breathing. This consists of breathing in deeply and slowly through your nose, taking the air right down to you abdomen. Visualise the air travelling right down to your abdomen and say the word “calm” to yourself as you breathe in. Then breathe out slowly and gently through your mouth. As you breathe out visualise the stress and tension leaving your body with your breath and think the word “relax.” Deliberately let your muscles go floppy as you breathe out. Take three deep breaths at a time. If you breathe deeply for too long you may feel dizzy from the extra oxygen. You can repeat the three breaths after a short time of breathing normally.
  • Learn to replace “negative self talk” with “coping self talk.” When you catch yourself thinking something negative like “I can’t do this, it’s just too hard,” try to change it to something more positive, like “This is hard but I can get through it.” It can be helpful to think of “changing the tape” that runs through your mind. It is useful to make a list of the negative thoughts you often have and write a list of positive, believable thoughts to replace them.

Anxiety can be exhausting and debilitating. Don’t suffer alone for too long. It often helps to talk to a Counsellor or Psychologist, who can help you find ways to deal with stress in your life and teach you skills to manage anxiety.

Edited and Compiled by Christian Nordqvist
Original article date: 23rd April 2004
Article updated: 10th February 2009

If you have any symptoms of Anxiety, try reading about these Bach Flower Remedies:

Mimulus: Fear of anything you can put a name on: Fear of dying, being alone, spiders, losing a job, not be able to pay your bills, fear of flying, fear of a panic attack, fear of small places  etc.
Aspen: Fear of the unknown, fear that something bad is going to happen but you can not put a name on it.
Red Chestnut: Fear that something bad is going to happen to your loved ones.
Rock Rose: Frozen fear, terror, the deer in the headlight type of fear.
Cherry Plum: Fear that you may lose control on yourself, explosive anger, the feeling you wish to hurt yourself or others.
Elm: If you feel overwhelmed, too much to do, not enough time.
White Chestnut: If you have repeated unwanted thoughts or worries.

Anxiety/Fear can be cured with the help of Bach Flower Remedies. The Bach Flower Remedies work on the emotional level, removing emotional imbalances such as, depression, anxiety, jealousy, fears, trauma, self-confidence and impatience as an example.

The Bach Flower Remedies are 100% safe with no side effects and when you feel fine again you stop taking the remedies and you will remain fine.