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Not a revolutionary idea but we all need sleep!

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

Unfortunately, the deck is stacked unfairly against women being able to get sufficient rest throughout their lives. Due to changing hormones, women are more likely than men to have trouble sleeping.

Before puberty, there seems to be less difference in the sleep patterns of boys and girls. Once puberty begins for girls, the ability to get a good night’s sleep will ebb and flow throughout the month. Pregnancy, the postpartum period, and menopause can also wreak havoc with getting quality rest. Women are more prone to suffer from depression and anxiety, leaving them still more vulnerable to sleep problems. Though things are changing, women are more often to be the primary caregivers for the children at home. Later, women sometimes become their parent’s caregivers and sometimes both children and parents at the same time.

So, what can we do about it?

Resist big meals or large amounts of alcohol

Digestion takes several hours to complete. Going to bed after a big meal puts your body at odds with itself, between you trying to sleep and the energy it needs to process the meal. Alcohol, though, can make you sleepy, reduces REM sleep, and exacerbates breathing problems like sleep apnea.


Go to bed at the same time each night

Yes, even when you don’t have to rise with the rooster. Do you have a pet? Do they seem to “hit the wall” at a certain time every night? I don’t know about you but my dog can’t tell time, but she knows when it is time to sleep. You can teach your physiology to do the same thing.


Create a ritual

This tip works for many aspects of life and you likely have rituals surrounding things you don’t even think about being rituals. What I am suggesting is that you create a very deliberate ritual around preparing for sleep. In my house, we enjoy a cup of specific herbal tea, while my dog lays next to me in my recliner. This is every night. About the time I finish my tea, my body is ready for bed. Your ritual maybe a hot bath or shower. Perhaps reading (though I would suggest you don’t do that in bed). Find what works to gear your vehicle down.


Don’t underestimate the power of an eye mask

The obvious reason that these often work is that they block out all artificial lighting that may put your body in conflict with sleep. The other piece is that putting on your eye mask may be part of your bedtime routine, which further helps to signal your body to sleep.


Yoga and Pranayama (breathwork)

Regular yoga practice has been shown to help sleep (along with most other aspects of life). What I want to focus on here is working with our breath, or in Sanskrit called Pranayama. Many techniques can be learned. This tool is particularly helpful on nights when you just can’t quiet your mind. Pranayama can be part of a yoga or meditation practice or can be a practice on its own. Find a yoga teacher who can help you find what tool works for you.

We all need to sleep. Quality sleep is not only essential to our physical health but for our mental and emotional health as well. Use these or other lifestyle changes to get your needed shut-eye.

Unfortunately, the deck is stacked unfairly against women being able to get sufficient rest throughout their lives. Due to changing hormones, women are more likely than men to have trouble sleeping.

Before puberty, there seems to be less difference in the sleep patterns of boys and girls. Once puberty begins for girls, the ability to get a good night’s sleep will ebb and flow throughout the month. Pregnancy, the postpartum period, and menopause can also wreak havoc with getting quality rest. Women are more prone to suffer from depression and anxiety, leaving them still more vulnerable to sleep problems. Though things are changing, women are more often to be the primary caregivers for the children at home. Later, women sometimes become their parent’s caregivers and sometimes both children and parents at the same time.

So, what can we do about it?

Resist big meals or large amounts of alcohol

Digestion takes several hours to complete. Going to bed after a big meal puts your body at odds with itself, between you trying to sleep and the energy it needs to process the meal. Alcohol, though, can make you sleepy, reduces REM sleep, and exacerbates breathing problems like sleep apnea.


Go to bed at the same time each night

Yes, even when you don’t have to rise with the rooster. Do you have a pet? Do they seem to “hit the wall” at a certain time every night? I don’t know about you but my dog can’t tell time, but she knows when it is time to sleep. You can teach your physiology to do the same thing.


Create a ritual

This tip works for many aspects of life and you likely have rituals surrounding things you don’t even think about being rituals. What I am suggesting is that you create a very deliberate ritual around preparing for sleep. In my house, we enjoy a cup of specific herbal tea, while my dog lays next to me in my recliner. This is every night. About the time I finish my tea, my body is ready for bed. Your ritual maybe a hot bath or shower. Perhaps reading (though I would suggest you don’t do that in bed). Find what works to gear your vehicle down.


Don’t underestimate the power of an eye mask

The obvious reason that these often work is that they block out all artificial lighting that may put your body in conflict with sleep. The other piece is that putting on your eye mask may be part of your bedtime routine, which further helps to signal your body to sleep.


Yoga and Pranayama (breathwork)

Regular yoga practice, whether private or corporate yoga, has been shown to help sleep (along with most other aspects of life). What I want to focus on here is working with our breath, or in Sanskrit called Pranayama. Many techniques can be learned. This tool is particularly helpful on nights when you just can’t quiet your mind. Pranayama can be part of a yoga or meditation practice or can be a practice on its own. Find a yoga teacher who can help you find what tool works for you.

We all need to sleep. Quality sleep is not only essential to our physical health but for our mental and emotional health as well. Use these or other lifestyle changes to get your needed shut-eye.



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