WOMEN’S HEALTH: Trouble Sleeping? You’re Not Alone!

wh-article-3.jpgForget women’s sexual healthwe just want a good night’s sleep! Natural solutions to the stress of working, raising a family, and menopause can make this possible.

It wasn’t that long ago that suffragettes were fighting for the right to vote. Today, not only are we expected to vote, we’re expected to raise the family (and there are almost 10 million single moms in the U.S. today), keep the house clean and bring home the bacon! The vast majority of women in this scenario are stressed, and stress is not good for a woman’s health.

In the work arena, more women than men report high levels of stress and stress-related illnesses, brought on by such issues as sexual discrimination and the pressures of combining work and family.

As a result, it can be hard to sleep. Compound this with a mid-life hormone rollercoaster—if you’re over forty, hot flashes and night sweats may be adding to your three a.m. restlessness, along with the tension of work and ‘keeping all your plates spinning.’

An estimated 70 million Americans suffer from sleep difficulties.

Yes, there are drugs that can help you sleep. And the side-effects can range anywhere from diarrhea to sleep-driving. Because of this, the FDA is tightening control on the labeling of these products, requiring much more startling labeling.

But why would you want to take a drug when there are natural alternatives that won’t harm a woman’s health?

  • Melatonin is a natural hormone that occurs in all living organisms, both plant and animal. It regulates biological functions to ensure a ‘proper’ circadian (relating to a twenty-four hour cycle) rhythm. Melatonin supplements can help you regulate your sleep pattern. By taking this just before bedtime, it can help to combat occasional sleeplessness.
  • Another option is valerian root. A natural herb, this remedy for women’s health has been used for centuries for relief from tension or anxiety, relaxing spastic muscles (including menstrual cramps), and as a sleep aid. Because it has no psychotropic (mind or behavior-altering) effects, there are no ‘morning-after’ effects, and no chance of addiction.
  • A combination of calcium and magnesium is a third option. A magnesium deficiency can cause muscle spasms, but the body needs a balance of calcium to properly assimilate the magnesium. (An added benefit of supplementing with these minerals is that they help to prevent osteoporosis—weakening of the bones—most common in women after menopause).

If you are stressed out or feeling ‘hormonal,’ and this is affecting your sleep, try one of these natural aids before bedtime. The bottom line is that a good night’s rest is the best tonic for a woman’s health!

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