More than 2,800 participants took part in the 2015 study, which specifically looked at middle aged women. Responses to questions regarding rest, duration, and quality of sleep were collated and examined and it was found that more than one in three women reported getting fewer than seven hours of sleep per night, on average. Most sleep experts recommend that women get between seven to nine hours per night, however, an overwhelming majority of participants reported receiving much less than this.

So, why is this? 

Oestrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle as well as the various stages of menopause. These shifts can have a huge impact on the ability to fall or stay asleep, as they influence the body’s natural circadian rhythm.

Pregnancy can also impact on quality and duration of rest as pregnant women tend to experience more discomfort as well as an increased need to use the toilet in the night. Associated symptoms such as sleep apnoea and restless-leg syndromes are also much more prevalent during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and low levels or iron in the blood. 

When the menopause finally arrives, night sweats and hot flushes make for seriously uncomfortable rest and experiences of sleep apnoea can become more and more frequent. Poor sleep at this stage is due to a wild concoction of hormonal fluctuations, increased stress, and mood swings. The decrease in progesterone means women are more likely to suffer sleep apnoea at this stage as it works to prevent snoring. Progesterone also has hypnotic and stress-relieving properties so a loss of it, in turn, impacts on the ability to sleep.  

How can you alleviate the symptoms? 

  • Invest in blackout blinds to keep the bedroom dark
  • Avoid heavy meals before bed time
  • Keep the bedroom at a cool temperature
  • Avoid eating or drinking stimulating foods and beverages before bed
  • Avoid taking naps as these will throw your circadian rhythm off
  • Take up yoga and meditation as ways of helping you to relax and remove stress
  • Keep a sleep diary of the quality and duration of your rest each night
  • Invest in a sleep monitoring system to help you keep track of your progress 

If you would like to find out more about how the REM-Fit Sleep 400 MattressREM-Fit Sleep Monitoring technology or Zeeq Smart Pillows can help you to get a better night’s rest, please get in touch with our experienced, knowledgeable staff by calling 020 8731 0020 or email us via sales@rem-fit.co.uk

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