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    What’s Keeping You Awake At Night – and How to Fix it?

    What's keeping you awake at night, and how can you fix it?Sleep is a fundamental human need, but sometimes it feels like a luxury. With the constant murmur of life all around, women often find that sleep is unfortunately missing from their lives.

    Women often prove excellent jugglers when it comes to work, being social, raising a family, maintaining a marriage, focusing on healthy living, etc. But while busy multitasking, their sleeping habits may be suffering.

    The National Sleep Foundation discovered that the average woman aged 30-60 sleeps only six hours and forty-one minutes during the work week when their body needs at least seven to nine hours each night. Without proper sleep, there is a greater likelihood of accidents, concentration issues, sickness, weight gain, and poor performance at work.

    Since sleep is absolutely vital, it is important to get to the bottom of what is keeping you awake at night. Here are several common causes for what might be disturbing your sleep:

    Insomnia

    One of the most common sleep disorders which more women than men experience is insomnia. The symptoms of insomnia can severely disrupt normal sleeping patterns. The symptoms include:

    •Difficulty falling asleep

    •Waking up often during the night without ease of falling back asleep

    •Waking up too early in the morning

    •Feeling tired and sluggish upon waking up

    There are two basic types of insomnia: primary and secondary. Primary insomnia describes a sleep issue rather than a health issue. But secondary insomnia is due to a prior condition such as asthma, cancer, depression, heartburn, or arthritis. Contacting a primary healthcare physician can aid in the diagnosis of insomnia and suggest lifestyle changes or medication for a persistent condition.

    Pain

    About 58% of women complain of pain upsetting their sleep. In 2000, research revealed one in four women reported that physical discomfort had interrupted their sleep at least three nights a week or more.

    Whether it is migraines, tension headaches, carpal tunnel, back ache, frozen shoulder, or arthritis, the culprits behind an inability to stay asleep prove exhausting over time. Pain can seem exacerbated at night making it much harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. With these types of ailments there are a number of ideas to try such as performing relaxation techniques, stretching, or over-the-counter prescription medicines to block pain.

    Hormones

    Other times, biology is a cause for struggle with sleep. Hormonal shifts and physical changes disrupt natural sleep patterns. Pregnancy, menstruation, or menopause can change the way a woman’s body deals with sleep.

    During menopause, hot flashes can prove one of the chief sleep offenders as the spiking and falling of estrogen and progesterone levels awaken the brain at night. Unfortunately, after menopause, sleep problems can persist because there is still an imbalance of hormones.

    Treating menopause and post-menopausal symptoms can be tricky, but there are a few tips to reduce how uncomfortable it can make the body and mind at night. Eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet has been shown to control hot flashes and lower estrogen levels. Special cooling pillows might recognize rising internal temperature and naturally cool the body down. And some herbal supplements such as black cohosh have demonstrated a profound ability to help women deal the symptoms of menopause.

    Stress

    Because of the many internal and external factors at work in and around the body, stress often runs high and can play a huge role in the quality of sleep. Stress can cause or amplify insomnia, aggravate menopause symptoms, and increase pain.

    From problems at work to chaos at home, a high stress level can hurt the body by preventing it from sleeping well. In order to decrease stress in favor of sleeping, first assess what is specifically stressful. From there, a solution can be found by mitigating the reason for stress, mentally releasing the issue, or trying to work through the problem. Exercise, eating healthy, and relaxation techniques such as breathing, stretching, quiet time, or aroma therapy are all proven tools for stress relief.

    Many people are in love with sleep because it provides necessary rest. So it can be incredible frustrating when staying asleep throughout the night seems just out of reach. Biological, environmental, and emotional matters easily impinge on sleep. By assessing what could potentially be the problem, there are steps to take that might improve sleep. For better health and happiness, finding sleep solutions can help ensure an adequate amount of sleep for maximum function during the day.

     

    Jessica Socheski is a freelance writer who enjoys discovering health solutions. Currently, she is researching the advantages of direct primary healthcare. You can connect with her on Google+.

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