Friday, March 9, 2007

Study: Over half of U.S. women get no enough sleep

  More than half of American women say they get a good night's sleep only a few days a week or less, media reported on Thursday.
  According to a poll released by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), American women are very, very tired. Sixty percent say they don't get enough rest most nights of the week while 43 percent report that daytime sleepiness interferes with their regular activities.
  "American women are not sleeping well, and that is affecting all aspects of their life," said Kathryn Lee, a professor of family health care nursing at the University of California, who worked on the survey.
  The survey found 80 percent of women who don't get enough sleep experience high stress. Others spend less time with family and friends, are too tired for sex, drive drowsy and are late for work, she said.
  What should women do if they're having trouble keeping their eyes open during the day?
  The first step, sleep experts say, is to get help from the doctor. So many emotional and physical factors can affect sleep that it's often impossible to make a diagnosis without taking a thorough medical history.
  Lifestyle changes such as cutting down on caffeine or reducing stress at night can make a huge difference. The bedroom should be cool, dark and quiet with comfortable bedclothes. Nicotine can also interfere with sleep; smokers should quit.
  If the problem is physical, such as a sleep disorder, doctors have many resources from medication for restless-leg syndrome to mechanical devices for breathing problems.
  Sometimes, patients spend the night in a sleep lab where doctors study and record every breath and movement during the night to pinpoint where things are going wrong. So don't just yawn; get the help (and the sleep) they need.
  The NSF survey, called the 2007 Sleep in America poll, is based on a telephone survey of more than 1,000 women, ages 18 to 64.

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