How to get a better night’s sleep
According to Prevention Magazine, regardless of if they have children or not, women tend to get less sleep than men overall, due to fluctuating estrogen.
During both menstruation and menopause, levels of estrogen, which helps promote sleep, are lower in the body. Furthermore, symptoms associated with lowered estrogen, including headaches, cramps, and hot flashes, all do their part to interrupt a good night’s sleep.
Prevention offers several suggestions for combating this issue.
- While it may sound simple, researchers say the most important thing you can do to improve your sleep is to go to bed and wake up at the same times every day, including weekends. This puts your body’s internal clock on a routine, which will result in better rest. If you are having a difficult time accomplishing this, try keeping a sleep diary in which you record these times to hold yourself accountable.
- Quitting smoking can dramatically improve how well you are sleeping at night. Researchers say smokers are 4 times more likely to not feel rested after a night’s sleep than non-smokers. This is likely due to the amount of the stimulant nicotine in their bodies.
- Keep in mind that when you exercise, your body temperature will stay elevated for approximately 4 hours. Since this is not conducive to sleep, you should plan your gym visits accordingly.
- Pay attention to the beverages you drink. First, caffeinated beverages are a stimulant and can keep you awake at night, so they should be avoided after 2 p.m. each day. Next, because your body actually wakes up as it finishes metabolizing alcohol, you should stop drinking alcoholic beverages at least two hours before your bedtime. Instead, pour yourself a glass of warm milk, as research has shown it can aid in inducing sleep.
If you do wake up in the middle of the night, doctors recommend that as long as you are comfortable, you should stay in bed and perform deep breathing exercises to help you relax and fall back to sleep.