Women in the U.S. too tired for sex

It seems American women have a problem with sleep and are not getting enough of it.

According to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation (NFS), mothers who are home all day suffer the most, and the lack of sleep is making women stressed and anxious and is affecting all areas of their lives.

The 2007 Sleep in America poll investigated how sleep habits change throughout a woman's life and how sleep is affected by lifestyle.

The poll found that 70 percent of women frequently have a problem sleeping, and 60 percent only get a good night's sleep a few nights a week.

Seventy two percent of working mothers and 68 percent of single working women also suffer from insomnia and are struggling to cope with a lack of sleep.

Poor sleep is associated with poor mood and the majority of women reported being bothered by worrying too much about things.

Kathryn Lee, of the National Sleep Foundation says 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 with little time for their friends.

The survey questioned 1,003 women between the ages of 18-64 and found that women tend to compromise the most important aspects of good health, diet, exercise and sleep when they are trying to juggle the day's ongoing responsibilities.

When women run out of time, 39 percent also reduced the time they spent with friends and family, 37 percent stopped eating healthily and 33 percent stopped having sex with their partner.

Lee says it is interesting that work is the last thing that women say they sacrifice when pressed for time.

When women don't get enough sleep most put up with it but 65 percent are likely to drink coffee or caffeinated beverages in order to keep going and instead of going to bed early to make up for the lack of sleep, 87 percent said they watched television in the hour before going to sleep and 37 percent did other activities.

Lee says foregoing healthy lifestyle habits in favour of more time during the day is not the solution and can be detrimental to optimum health and performance.

The poll also found that women who allow children or pets to share their bed have the most disturbed sleep and surprise, surprise, women snore as much as men!

Postmenopausal women appear to have the most sleep problems and frequently use sleeping pills and have the most sleep disorders such as snoring, sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome (RLS).

Many also say their sleep is disrupted by hot flashes or night sweats.

To improve sleep women are advised to avoid caffeine in drinks and chocolate and to also avoid alcohol and nicotine a few hours before bedtime.

Exercise or workouts should be done at least three hours before going to sleep.

A standard relaxing bedtime routine will also help as will regular sleep times, a dark, cool and quiet bedroom with comfortable pillows, sleep surface and coverings.

The NSF released the poll findings as part of its 10th-annual National Sleep Awareness Week campaign.

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.

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