Half of British women aren’t getting enough sleep

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Almost half of British women say they are not getting enough sleep and don’t feel well-rested when they wake up (43% and 48%).

According to the findings from a survey of more than 4,100 UK adults supported by the Sleep Apnoea Trust Association (SATA) and conducted by YouGov for ResMed Ltd, women are more likely than men to:

  • Have trouble sleeping (46% versus 36%)
  • Wake up during the night and not be able to get back to sleep (36% versus 23%)
  • Become irritable during the day because of their sleep problems (60% versus 47%)
  • Feel less confidence in their appearance as a result of a bad night’s sleep (33% versus 20%).

Despite the extent of their sleep problems, only a minority of women visit their GP about sleep issues such as difficulty sleeping (25%) and snoring (6%). These might be symptoms of a sleep disorder called sleep apnoea, which if left untreated could lead to other more serious health problems such as stroke and cardiovascular disease.

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a debilitating condition affecting around 1.5 million adults in the UK. Pregnancy and menopause can increase a woman’s risk of having sleep apnoea, yet the majority of women in the UK are unaware of this. The symptoms present differently in women than men and include softer snoring, lower report of sleepiness, insomnia, restless legs, fatigue/day-time sleepiness, depression, headaches and muscle pain. The low level of awareness of the symptoms, risk factors and impact of untreated sleep apnoea also revealed in the survey could be hindering effective diagnosis among this high risk group.

Today’s findings also reveal the impact of frequent sleep problems and how these affect both genders differently. The impact of sleep deprivation on appearance is much more prominent in women than men, with women admitting that sleeping problems have caused them to put on weight (31%) and made their skin look less healthy (33%).

Treating OSA would not only save the National Health Service (NHS) millions of pounds but could also help hundreds of thousands women all around the UK reclaim their sleep and improve their overall health and quality of life. To find out more about the condition, visit reclaimyoursleep.resmed.com/en-gb.html.

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    AUTHOR

    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson