Stressed-Out American Women Have No Time for Sleep Stay-at-Home Mothers Most Likely To Sleep Poorly



    WASHINGTON, March 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than half of
 American women (60%) say they only get a good night's sleep a few nights
 per week or less and 67% say they frequently experience a sleep problem.
 Additionally, 43% say that daytime sleepiness interferes with their daily
 activities, according to a new poll released today by the National Sleep
 Foundation (NSF). Women's lack of sleep affects virtually every aspect of
 their time-pressed lives, leaving them late for work, stressed out, too
 tired for sex and little time for their friends.
     NSF's 2007 Sleep in America poll sought to look at the sleep patterns
 of adult women (ages 18-64), as the NSF's 2005 Sleep in America poll found
 that women are more likely to experience sleep problems than men. The new
 2007 poll found that women of all ages are experiencing sleep problems,
 which change and increase in severity as they move through the different
 biological stages of their lives. Interestingly, lifestyle also plays a
 significant, often negative, role in women's sleep and daytime alertness.
 Working mothers (72%) and single working women (68%) are more likely to
 experience symptoms of sleep problems like insomnia. But, stay-at-home
 mothers report a high level of overall sleep problems, with 74% saying they
 are experiencing symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights each week, 59%
 saying they frequently wake up feeling un-refreshed and 9% report
 co-sleeping with a child or infant, which adds to the sleep disturbances
 they experience each night.
     American women are struggling to cope with this lack of sleep. Although
 women's lifestyles are compromised due to lack of sleep, they keep going.
 Eighty percent of women say that when they experience sleepiness during the
 day they just accept it and keep going. However, in order to keep going,
 65% are likely to use caffeinated beverages, with 37% of all women
 consuming three or more caffeinated beverages per day. And, despite being
 frequently tired, women are not heading to bed earlier. In the hour prior
 to going to bed, instead of retiring early, 87% say they watch television,
 60% complete the remainder of their household chores, 37% do activities
 with children, 36% do activities with other family, 36% are on the Internet
 and 21% do work related to their job at least a few nights a week.
     Poor sleep is associated with poor mood. The majority of women reported
 being bothered by worrying too much about things (80%) and/or being
 stressed out or anxious (79%). Sleep problems often co-exist with mood
 disturbances. In fact, more than one-half of the women polled (55%)
 reported that they felt unhappy, sad or depressed in the past month and
 one-third (36%) reported that they recently felt hopeless about the future.
 The relationship between sleep and mood is bi-directional. Mood effects can
 cause poor sleep and poor sleep can put someone at a greater risk for
 symptoms of depression and anxiety.
     "Women of all ages are burning the candle at both ends and as a result
 they are sleepless and stressed out," said Richard L. Gelula, NSF's chief
 executive officer. "Poor sleep impacts every aspect of a woman's life, as
 well as her health. This year, we are asking women to take the steps
 necessary to make healthy sleep a higher priority in their lives and in the
 lives of their families."
     Lack of Sleep Disrupts Quality of Life
     The Sleep in America poll also finds that a lack of a good night's
 sleep is interfering with a woman's quality of life. Women report that they
 often choose to put healthy activities last on their priority list as they
 struggle through their daily lives. When pressed for time, one-half of the
 women polled responded that sleep (52%) and exercise (48%) are the first
 things they sacrifice. Additionally, more than one-third of women say they
 also reduce the amount of time they spend with friends and family (39%),
 stop eating healthy (37%) and don't participate in sexual activity with
 their partner (33%) when they run out of time or are too sleepy in a day.
 Interestingly, work is the last thing that women say they sacrifice when
 pressed for time; only 20% of women responded that they would opt to put
 work on the back burner when they run out of time or are too sleepy.
     About two-thirds (68%) of the women polled say they were working during
 the past month, with almost one-half (46%) saying that they worked
 full-time. Some working women (8%) report that they miss work at least once
 a month due to sleepiness or a sleep problem. In addition, two in ten say
 they were late to work more than once in the past month due to oversleeping
 (20%) or feeling too tired when they woke up (19%). About one-half of women
 who are working (53%) say that their work schedule is flexible and women
 between the ages of 18 and 24 are significantly more likely than their
 older counterparts to work non-traditional hours or overnight shifts.
     Despite warnings, women are still driving drowsy. More than one-quarter
 (27%) of women polled said they have driven drowsy at least once a month in
 the past year; 10% of those who had driven drowsy did so with a child in
 the car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively
 estimates that up to 100,000 police-reported crashes annually involve
 drowsiness or fatigue as a principal causal factor.
     "Women who spend less than 7 hours in bed at night are more likely to
 doze off during the day, report symptoms of depression, drive drowsy and
 use coping mechanisms just to make it through their day," said Kathryn Lee,
 Ph.D, a member of the NSF poll task force. "Furthermore, women tend to
 compromise the most important aspects of good health -- diet, exercise and
 sleep -- when trying to juggle the day's ongoing responsibilities.
 Foregoing healthy lifestyle habits in favor of more time during the day is
 not the solution. In fact, it can be detrimental to optimum health and
 performance." Dr. Lee is a Professor of Family Health Care Nursing and the
 James and Marjorie Livingston Chair in the School of Nursing at the
 University of California, San Francisco.
     Sleep and Health
     The NSF Sleep in America poll also found poor health and obesity are
 linked to an increased frequency of sleep problems. Women who report being
 in fair or poor health are significantly more likely than those who report
 being in excellent or very good health to:
     --  Experience any symptom of a sleep disorder at least a few nights per
         week (66% vs. 30%)
     --  Have been told by a doctor that they have a sleep disorder (40% vs.
         10%)
     --  Experience daytime sleepiness at least a few days per week (46% vs.
         12%)
     --  Have missed at least one day of work because of sleepiness or a sleep
         problem in the past month (26% vs. 7%)
     --  Use any sleep aid at least a few nights per week (54% vs. 19%)
     Additionally, women with height and weight that would be categorized as
 obese (BMI greater than or equal to 30) are more likely than those with a
 BMI classified as overweight or average weight to:
     --  Snore at least a few nights each week (46% vs. 33% for overweight and
         21% for average weight)
     --  Experience daytime sleepiness at least a few days a week (31% vs. 22%
         for overweight and 18% for average weight)
     --  Use a prescription sleep aid at least a few nights per week (23% vs.
         14% for overweight and 11% for average weight)
     "Adopting healthy behaviors such as eating nutritious foods, being
 physically active, watching your weight, and getting enough sleep are
 important steps toward living a healthy life," said Janet Collins, Ph.D.,
 Director, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health
 Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "As a leader
 in public health, CDC applauds NSF's efforts to educate all Americans about
 the importance of sleep."
     Women, Biology and Sleep
     The 2007 NSF Sleep in America poll also asked respondents about the
 quality and quantity of sleep. These findings were then analyzed within
 different biological stages of their lives.
     Menstruating women (women of childbearing age) spend an average of 7
 hours, 32 minutes in bed (1) on weeknights, with 67% of these women
 reporting experiencing symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights each
 week. Of menstruating women:
     --  16% say they have missed work one or more days in the past month due
         to a sleep problem.
     --  34% say they experience symptoms of a sleep disorder like snoring,
         sleep apnea and/or RLS.
     --  One-third of menstruating women (33%) say that their sleep is
         disturbed the week of their cycle.
     Pregnant women spend the most hours in bed per weeknight (8 hours, 14
 minutes on average), however most pregnant women (84%) report symptoms of
 insomnia a few nights each week, with 40% also reporting signs of a sleep
 disorder such as snoring, sleep apnea and/or restless leg syndrome (RLS).
 Interestingly:
     --  30% of pregnant women report that they rarely or never get a good
         night's sleep.
     --  Most pregnant women (82%) report getting significantly better sleep
         before their pregnancy.
     --  One percent of pregnant women report consuming alcohol, beer or wine
         within an hour of going to bed at least a few nights each week as a
         sleep aid.
     --  54% of pregnant women report napping at least twice per week.
     Post partum women spend less time in bed on weeknights than pregnant
 women (7 hours, 46 minutes on average), but they report the same frequency
 of symptoms of insomnia (84%). Of the women in this group, 42% report that
 they rarely or never get a good night's sleep - the highest frequency of
 all the groups.
     --  When asked what awakens them most during the night, 90% of post partum
         women say giving care to a child.
     --  Nearly one-half (47%) of post partum women say that they have no one
         helping them with childcare at night.
     --  20% of post partum women say they have driven drowsy with children in
         the car.
     --  35% of post partum women report experiencing symptoms of a sleep
         disorder such as snoring, sleep apnea and/or RLS.
     --  Among post partum women with a child who is 3 months old or younger,
         the child is most often sleeping in a crib in the parent's room (48%).
         Roughly one-fourth say their child sleeps in his/her own room (27%) or
         in the parent's bed (22%).
     --  About two in ten (19%) women in this category say they experience post
         partum blues or depression.
 
     Perimenopausal women (women during their menopausal transition years)
 spend the least amount of time in bed on weeknights of all the groups (7
 hours, 12 minutes on average). More than half (59%) of women in this life
 stage say they experience symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights each
 week.
 
     --  43% of perimenopausal women report experiencing symptoms of a sleep
         disorder such as snoring, sleep apnea and/or RLS.
     --  Perimenopausal women cite noise (36%) and co-sleeping pets (20%) as
         awakening them most during the night.
     --  20% of women in this category say they have a difficult time sleeping
         due to hot flashes or night sweats at least a few nights each week.
     Postmenopausal women generally spend more than 7 hours in bed on
 weeknights (7 hours, 19 minutes on average), but of all the groups,
 postmenopausal women report the highest incidence (50%) of a sleep disorder
 such as snoring, sleep apnea and/or RLS.
     --  61% of women in this life stage report experiencing some symptoms of
         insomnia at least a few nights each week.
     --  41% say they use a sleep aid at least a few nights per week - the
         highest frequency of all the groups.
     --  22% of postmenopausal women say they have a difficult time sleeping
         due to hot flashes or night sweats. A similar proportion (22%) report
         experiencing restless legs syndrome (RLS) at least a few nights each
         week. Symptoms of RLS appear more frequently in these individuals than
         in other segments.
     --  Postmenopausal women report the highest BMI's with 36% reporting that
         they are overweight and 30% that they are obese - a factor that plays
         a significant role in sleep disorders.
     "Women are often blindsided by life and biology," said Meir Kryger, MD,
 director of research and education at the Gaylord Sleep Center and chair of
 the 2007 NSF Sleep in America poll task force. "As women go through
 different life stages, internal biological factors and external lifestyle
 factors have a huge impact on their ability to get a good sleep. Despite
 the life phase, it's important for women to choose to make healthy sleep a
 priority."
     Women, Sleep and Lifestyle
     The 2007 Sleep in America poll investigated how sleep habits change
 throughout a woman's life and how sleep is affected by lifestyle. As such,
 the poll looked at the following six segments of women to gauge how women's
 sleep patterns change and are affected by lifestyle.
     Working, Single Women spend the least amount of time in bed, generally
 less than six hours per night and one-half (54%) of the women in this
 category say they wake up feeling un-refreshed at least a few days each
 week. Despite this, 70% of working, single women say that they just accept
 it and keep going when they are sleepy during the day. In addition,
 working, single women are also very likely to use caffeinated beverages
 when sleepy during the day (47%), consuming an average of 3.1 cups/cans per
 day. About one-third say they use the weekends to try to catch up on their
 sleep (31%) and these women are likely to spend time with their friends in
 the hour before going to bed (27%).
     Working, married women with no children or grown children (Empty
 Nesters) report getting better sleep than most groups, with 44% saying they
 get a good night's sleep every night or almost every night, despite the
 fact that they report being in bed less than seven hours per night on
 average. Empty Nesters report a low frequency of sleep problems (15%), but
 nearly one-half report that they do not have enough time for sleep (46%) or
 exercise (47%), and 38% say they don't have sex because they are too sleepy
 or run out of time.
     Stay-at-Home Moms (SAHMs) report that they rarely get a good night's
 sleep, despite the fact that 61% report that they spend 8 or more hours in
 bed each night and more than one-half (57%) report napping at least once
 per week. Three-quarters (74%) of women in this category say they are
 experiencing symptoms of insomnia, with 59% saying they wake up feeling
 un-refreshed in the morning and 56% reporting that they wake frequently
 during the night. This segment of women is most likely to report sleeping
 with an infant or child, which likely accounts for many sleep disturbances
 throughout the night. Lack of sleep has a big impact on SAHMs who say they
 are unable to do leisure activities (43%) and/or have sex with their
 partner (39%) because they are too tired or ran out of time in the day.
 SAHMs report that in the hour before going to bed, they are completing
 household chores (71%) and/or doing activities with their children (71%).
     Many women today choose to work part-time while raising their children.
 Part-time Working Moms say they are sleeping well and one-half (50%) report
 typically being in bed for more than 8 hours per night. Interestingly,
 these women are among the least likely to be told by their doctor that they
 have a sleep problem (16%) and this segment of women are less likely to say
 they are unable to do things because they run out of time or are too tired.
 Like other women, Part-time Working Moms also say they accept it and keep
 going when tired during the day (68%), but they frequently use napping (60%
 taking at least one nap per week) and caffeinated beverages to cope (40%).
 In the hour before going to bed, the majority report watching television
 (88%).
     Women who are married, with school-aged children and working full-time
 (Briefcases with Backpacks) report being in bed less than 6 hours per night
 on weeknights and are less likely to nap. Women in this segment are most
 likely to report symptoms of insomnia with more than one-half (56%) saying
 they often wake up feeling unrefreshed and one-half (54%) saying they
 frequently wake up during the night. 70% of women say they just accept it
 and keep going when they are sleepy during the day. These women are the
 most likely segment to use caffeinated beverages when sleepy during the day
 (56%), consuming an average of 2.7 cups/cans per day. Women in this group
 are most likely to drive drowsy (35%) and to feel that they don't have time
 for the following: sleep (60%), exercise (60%), spending time with family
 and friends (52%), leisure activities (49%) and have sex with their partner
 (44%). This segment of women is also most likely to report mood
 disturbances, specifically being bothered or troubled by worrying too much
 about things (37%).
     After going through one or more of these life phases, women begin to
 approach retirement age. 50-something women have the highest frequency of
 sleep problems, though they report spending more than 8 hours in bed per
 night on weeknights (66%) and say they often nap at least once per week
 (61%). As a group, women in this segment frequently use sleep aids (41%)
 and approximately one-fourth (26%) of these women have been told by their
 doctor that they have a sleep problem. When sleepy during the day,
 50-something women rarely just accept it and keep going; instead they
 choose to do less during the day (20%) and/or nap to catch up on their
 sleep (16%).
     Other Poll Highlights:
 
     --  Women who allow children (9%) or pets (14%) to share their bed have
         the most disturbed sleep.
     --  It's a myth that men snore and women do not. Nearly one-third of women
         (31%) responded that they snore at least a few nights per week, likely
         disturbing their own sleep and the sleep of their partner.
     --  29% of women report using some type of sleep aid at least a few nights
         per week.
     --  About two in ten women (19%) report experiencing symptoms of restless
         leg syndrome (RLS). Women who experience RLS at least a few nights a
         week are more likely than those who experience RLS with less frequency
         to:
         *  Experience symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights a week (90%
            vs. 62%)
         *  Experience daytime sleepiness at least a few days a week (44% vs.
            17%)
         *  Consume more caffeine per day (3.71 cups/cans vs. 2.27)
         *  Use sleep aids at least a few nights a week (47% vs. 25%)
 
     Tips for Healthy Sleep
     According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 70
 million people in the United States are affected by a sleep problem, with
 women suffering from lack of sleep more often than men and with increasing
 frequency as they age. If you have difficulty with your sleep for any
 reason, here are some tips that may help you get a better night's sleep:
     1.  Try to have a standard relaxing bedtime routine and keep regular sleep
         times. Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool and quiet and that your
         pillows, sleep surface and coverings provide you with comfort.
     2.  Exercise regularly, but finish your workout at least three hours
         before bedtime.
     3.  Avoid foods and drinks high in caffeine (coffee, colas, tea and
         chocolate) and alcohol a few hours before bedtime. Caffeine and
         alcohol disturb sleep. Nicotine may make it difficult to fall asleep
         and lead to fragmented sleep; those who smoke should get help to quit.
     4.  If you have a new infant in the family, arrange for some help from
         family or friends in order to get a few more hours of sleep each week
         until your infant is sleeping through the night.  When you return to
         work, additional assistance during this transition may be essential
         for keeping you safe at work and on your commute.
     NSF released the poll findings as part of its 10th annual National
 Sleep Awareness Week(R) campaign, held March 5-11th. For more sleep tips
 for women, as well as the Summary of Findings for the 2007 Sleep in America
 poll, visit NSF's Web site at http://www.sleepfoundation.org.
     Methodology
     The 2007 Sleep in America poll was conducted for the National Sleep
 Foundation by WB&A Market Research. Telephone interviews were conducted
 between September 12 and October 28, 2006, with a targeted random sample of
 1,003 women ages 18-64. A random sample of telephone numbers was purchased
 from SDR Consulting, Inc. and quotas were established by region, with
 pregnant (n=150) and post partum (n=151) women being oversampled. The
 response rate for this study was 20.4% (number of completed interviews
 divided by the number of completed interviews plus the number of contacted
 households who refused participation or did not complete appointments,
 factored by the overall incidence of 69%). The data was weighted to reflect
 equal proportions of respondents by age based on the U.S. Census. The
 poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3.1% at the 95% confidence level.
     NSF Background
     The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is an independent nonprofit
 organization dedicated to improving public health and safety by achieving
 greater understanding of sleep and sleep disorders. NSF furthers its
 mission through sleep-related education, research, and advocacy
 initiatives. NSF's membership includes researchers and clinicians focused
 on sleep medicine as well as other professionals in the
 health/medical/science fields, individuals, and more than 900 sleep clinics
 throughout North America that join the Foundation's Community Sleep
 Awareness Partners program.
     NSF's financial support comes from a variety of diverse sources,
 including memberships, sales of educational materials, advertising,
 investment income, individual donations, subscriptions, and educational
 grants from foundations, federal agencies, and corporations including
 pharmaceutical and non- pharmaceutical companies. Corporate grants are
 accepted on an unrestricted basis only. NSF alone determines the ideas and
 content published or promoted in its educational programs. NSF relies on
 positions of government agencies, the published consensus of sleep and
 medical professionals and peer-reviewed, publicized evidence for its public
 health recommendations. A list of 2007 contributors can be found on NSF's
 Web site.
     NSF does not solicit nor accept funding for its annual Sleep in America
 polls; NSF polls are developed by an independent task force of sleep
 scientists who provide guidance and expertise in developing the poll
 questionnaire and analysis of the data. NSF can be found online at
 http://www.sleepfoundation.org.
     NSF -- CDC Partnership
     The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the 13
 major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services
 (HHS), which is the principal agency in the United States government for
 protecting the health and safety of all Americans and for providing
 essential human services, especially for those people who are least able to
 help themselves. In January 2007, the CDC partnered with NSF in support of
 NSAW and the NSF Great American Sleep ChallengeTM.
     (1) Attention should be given to the fact that the poll respondents
 were asked to provide their usual bedtime and usual waketime which were
 used in calculating their "number of hours in bed." This tends to be
 reported more accurately than estimates of "number of hours slept."
 
 

SOURCE National Sleep Foundation

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