Stress affects your overall well-being, which includes the quality of sleep. From brief natural and chronic stressors to sudden untoward events and distant stressors, all affect your sleep cycle, quality, and duration. Women are twice as likely as men to have difficulties linked to stress and sleep. Several factors such as hormonal changes, life events such as puberty, pregnancy, menopause, psychosocial stressors, and a hectic lifestyle contribute to it. Besides, women’s role as a domestic goddess who manages the home and takes care of the family or as a superwoman who juggles her career with her family like it is nothing also add to sleep-related issues. So, what are these issues, and how do they affect women? What are the solutions? Does age play a role? Let us delve deeper and discuss them all here.

How do you know you are too stressed to sleep?

Effects of stress manifest in several ways. These include the onset or worsening of common sleep conditions such as insomnia, disturbed sleep cycle because of work, caregiving, or hormonal changes, inability to sleep again after waking up mid-sleep, racing thoughts, feeling tired even after sleeping well, and lack of sleep even after feeling fatigued. Sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless legs syndrome are a few other factors that affect sleep.

What is the impact of disturbed sleep because of stress?

A disrupted sleep cycle affects your mind and body. Kelly Baron, a sleep expert, explains that lack of good sleep because of stress affects everyone differently. It makes you more emotional, irritable, and forgetful. But the long-term effect is worse as it puts you at the risk of headaches, digestion issues, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, depression, anxiety, and weight gain. Sleep deprivation also affects men significantly, but research shows that women are more likely to have more severe symptoms. Poor sleep quality also lowers libido and fertility and causes menstrual irregularity in women.

Does age affect women’s stress and sleep?

According to a study, women may experience an overload of stress hormones as they age. Aging affects cortisol levels in women nearly three times more than in men. Research also indicates that the prevalence of sleep conditions increases with age, and older women may be more susceptible to the effect of aging on sleep.

How to relieve stress and sleep better?

Incorporate sleep hygiene into your routine. It means developing habits that can help you sleep soundly. These include the following.

  • Diet: Avoid large meals, spicy foods, chocolates, tea, and coffee close to bedtime.
  • Be physically active: Exercise helps promote sleep. It releases stress and tires your body so that you can sleep well.
  • Digital detox: Digital devices emit blue light that suppresses the melatonin levels, making it harder to fall asleep. So, stop using a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop two to three hours before sleeping.
  • Use a sleep tracker: A sleep-tracking app helps you assess your sleep patterns, set sleep goals, and lets you know if you need professional help to sleep better.