Very few things can beat the healing power (and downright deliciousness) of a good night’s sleep. So why is sleep important for women?
Restful, deep sleep is so vital for keeping us and our hormones in balance. But biological conditions unique to us, like pregnancy, menstrual cycles, and menopause all impact our ability to sleep. Our hormone levels, lifestyle habits, and environmental factors all come into play.
While we typically get more sleep overall than men, researchers have found that women actually experience lower-quality sleep. Between our different social roles and responsibilities, life can present us with special obstacles that may disrupt our right to rest.
About 70 million Americans alone suffer from sleep conditions. Unfortunately, women are more likely to experience sleep problems when compared to men. Women experience higher rates of sleep disorders including insomnia, pain-related sleep disruptions, restless leg syndrome, and more. Here are the most common sleep conditions that women encounter:
People suffering from insomnia often experience regular difficulty either falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night. Women are 40% more inclined to develop insomnia due to hormonal changes that occur with menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy. As we get older, our risk of developing this condition also increases as we transition through menopause. Night sweats and hot flashes are impactful sleep disruptions that 75% to 85% of menopausal women experience. Women are also almost twice as likely than men to have depression or anxiety, which are both closely tied to insomnia.
Pain is one of the more common causes of insomnia. Many painful conditions make it incredibly difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Unfortunately, some of the conditions associated with chronic pain are also more prevalent among women. These include arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, tension headaches, heartburn, and more.
Restless leg syndrome, RLS, creates unpleasant tingling and crawling sensations in the legs while laying down and are accompanied by the uncontrollable urge to move the legs. Symptoms are often only resolved through movement or when not lying down, making it really difficult for women to sleep well throughout the night. Women are twice as likely to have RLS, with the risk increasing among those that have multiple children as well as those that experience pregnancy and menopause. One of the risk factors associated with RLS is iron deficiency, which is also more common among women.
Sleep apnea is a disorder where temporary pauses in breathing occur during sleep. These pauses lead to loud snoring, gasping, and choking sounds that can be very disruptive. While sleep apnea is twice as common in men, it increases in women over the age of 50. Older age and obesity are the two most significant risk factors for sleep apnea. During menopause, the hormonal changes that trigger lower progesterone levels and increase in abdominal fat may explain the heightened risk factor for older women.
About 15 million Americans work outside of the traditional hours of 9:00 to 5:00. Shift workers, especially individuals that work during the night, often have to accommodate non-traditional sleep hours which creates disruptions to the natural sleep-wake cycle. Long-term disruptions to the natural sleep-wake cycle can cause less sleep, less quality sleep, as well as increasing the risk of accidents and illnesses. One study found that female night shift workers experienced a considerably larger risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, and irregular menstrual cycles. More research is needed but scientists also believe that these disruptions may have additional hormonal or biological effects.
All cannabinoid therapy varies from person to person, but this is especially true when it comes to using CBD for sleep. The most important thing to take note of is CBD’s biphasic nature – small doses can actually be alerting while larger doses are sedating. This is very bio-individual and there’s no clear cut-off between an alerting and sedating dose, making experimentation key. If you ever find yourself feeling alert after taking CBD, take more until you achieve that dreamy, drowsy feeling.
The results and effectiveness can vary greatly, depending on: the individual and their unique composition, the administration method, product cannabinoid profile, timing, and dosage.
We recommend self-experimenting with dosage and timing to find what works best for you. When it comes to understanding the effects of any new supplementation, it’s also wise to keep a journal where you track your dosage, timing, and sleep. This can give you a clear set of data points for creating the proper CBD regimen for sleep and allow you to better understand how it affects you.
Let’s face it, lack of sleep sucks. But, as women, our complex body chemistry means that we can’t just throw anything into the mix and hope that it works.
That’s why we’ve handcrafted our premium organic CBD products for women just like you (and us!). We’re always happy to help you find the right products for improving sleep quality. Shop our sleep products today or reach out anytime for more information!