I’m an early riser.
Yes, I am one of the weird ones who LOVE mornings. Most of the time. But a bad night’s sleep can really kill my morning cheer.
Is there a reason behind that or am I just being a grump?
Truth is, we NEED sleep. We spend about a third of our life sleeping. It’s a time for our brain and body to rest and refuel.
But we tend to downplay the essential nature of sleep. And by “we” I mean “we women” specifically. Women downplay how important our sleep is and we often put our need for sleep LAST among our priorities.
Does this sound familiar? “I just need to get one last load of laundry folded….I just need to pack lunches and then I’ll go to bed…hey that furnace filter looks awfully dirty, so I’d better just change…”
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF, 2021) states most people need 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night, but only about 65% of women achieve that goal. And women are 40% more likely than men to have insomnia.
Women can have trouble sleeping due to LOTS of reasons.
The sleep-wake cycle is ruled by hormones; therefore our monthly cycle, pregnancy, and menopause can ALL interfere with sleep (so fun to be a woman sometimes).
Also, according to the NSF, women tend to multi-task throughout the day and use more of their actual brains than men (I swear I’m not making this up!). This leads to a greater need for quality sleep; the more you use your brain during the day, the more it needs to rest while asleep.
So to answer that question above (is sleep really necessary?)….the resounding answer is YES. Sleep is necessary…even for a Superwoman like you! And not just the amount, but the quality.
If you are not sure WHY you are not sleeping well, here are a few tips:
- Ask your spouse/partner to take turns getting up when necessary to care for the kids, pets, smoke alarm that needs the battery changed, etc.
- Have a consistent bedtime
- Limit things that can interfere with sleep: alcohol, caffeine, certain medications, use of electronics before bedtime.
For more on this and other topics related to women’s experiences see my book “Who Moved My Cape: Letting Go of Your Superwoman Expectations” and my CD “Superwoman Blues“