Certainly anyone can suffer sleep problems but insomnia tends to impact women the most. In fact, some studies show that women are 1.4 times more likely to report insomnia than men. Throw addiction recovery in the mix — insomnia is five times higher among those in recovery than in the general public, according to a study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine — and it’s even more likely that you’ll be counting sheep while your husband is sleeping soundly.
A recent small study by McGill University suggests that women’s circadian rhythms are partly to blame: In general, women’s body clocks cause them to fall asleep and wake up earlier than men, say researchers. Whatever the cause, insomnia can lead to long-term health consequences, including depression, diabetes, high blood pressure and, for those in recovery, relapse.
Luckily, a few lifestyle changes can help ensure a better night’s slumber:
- Fight the urge to “sleep in,” even on weekends. Try to keep your weekend bedtime and wake-time within an hour or so of your weekday schedule.
- Avoid exercising two hours before lights out. But do try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity several days of the week.
- Consider adding mediation to your bedtime routine. Meditation will help calm you mind and allow you to nod off more easily. Start by counting your breaths or repeating a word or phrase.
- Say "no" to daytime napping. And if you must nap, limit it to 20 minute, so you’re still tired at bedtime.
- Do the “fold test.” Fold your pillow in half — does it spring open right away? If you answered “no,” it’s time to replace it.
- Cut back on the java. If it’s four or five hours before shut-eye don’t reach for that cup of coffee. And don’t forget about the caffeine you’re getting from other beverages, like soda, and certain foods.
More Ways Women Differ
Women face differing biological, emotional, and social issues during drug and alcohol addiction. At AJ’s Amethyst House, we take the context of our female clients’ lives into account throughout each phase of detox, addiction treatment, and aftercare planning. To learn more, call 855-221-1717.