Getting Your Beauty Sleep?

Florence Cardinal Health Guide
  • Ladies, are you getting your beauty sleep? Sleep deprivation causes havoc on that hat smooth, soft schoolgirl complexion. The skin becomes dry, the face becomes lined and wrinkled and dark bags appear beneath the eyes.


    But a poor complexion is only a small result of lack of sleep. Your health may suffer as well. Research shows that women who don't get enough sleep are more likely to develop heart disease and type two diabetes.


    Dr. Edward Suarez of Duke University interviewed 210 healthy men and women about their sleep habits. He factored in emotions, age, smoking, and several other conditions that could influence sleep. Suarez found an association between lack of sleep and risk factors for health disease and diabetes. However, this association only appeared in the female participants.

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    The reason for this difference is not fully understood, although Suarez believes testosterone may be responsible.


    This is bad news for women who often suffer from sleep deprivation just because of their role in life. Sleep problems begin early in life for a girl. With the onset of the menstrual cycle come cramps, emotional upheavals and restless sleep.


    The girl moves on to motherhood. When it comes to sleep deprivation, mothers are high on the list. Babies sleep - well, like babies. The problem is, babies and toddlers may not be on the same sleep schedule as adults.


    But the sleep deprivation begins months before baby comes into the world. During the first trimester of pregnancy, several factors can disturb your sleep. Although baby (and you) are still small, it's sometimes difficult to find the right position for a comfy sleep. Your breasts feel full and tender and - well - you can't decide just what to do with them!


    Stomach upsets are also frequent sleep disturbers. Heartburn and gas, the occasional wave of nausea - or is it hunger? These can also keep you awake, and one of the worst offenders is the constant need to run to the bathroom.


    On into the second trimester, and a brief respite from many of the disturbances. Your tummy settles down, and you've discovered a comfortable position in which to sleep.


    Enjoy your sleep while you can, because with the arrival of the third trimester, all the problems are back with a vengeance. Because of the size of your belly, there's no way to get comfortable. Baby seems to be lying right on your bladder, too, so you beat a frequent path to the bathroom. Stomach upsets have returned. Your legs cramp. When you do drift off to sleep, baby decides he doesn't care for his/her position and turns over with a tummy-shaking flop.


    Then, finally, baby is here and it seems he or she has taken over the household. Oh my! Doesn't the little one sleep a lot? Unfortunately, baby hasn't planned his or her sleep hours to fit your schedule.


    The years move on, perhaps with more pregnancies and more babies. Then the next step in a woman's life - menopause. Again, there are emotional problems, this time brought on by hormonal disruption. Menopause can cause bad dreams, insomnia and other sleep disorders.


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    So, not only do women have more cause for sleep deprivation, they are also at risk from the hazards caused by a lack of sleep. It's imperative that women do everything in their power to get all the sleep they need.


    Ladies, are you getting your health and beauty sleep?

Published On: April 02, 2008