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80% of Women Too Stressed to Sleep


Do you sleep through the night? If not, you're not alone. Eighty percent of women have reported problems sleeping, reveals a study called "Women and Sleep," published by the National Sleep Foundation, and we’re not just talking moms of newborns who don’t sleep through the night. Three in 10 American women also use a sleep aid a few nights a week—and that doesn't count those who use anti-anxiety medications or a glass of wine to help them sleep.

What's keeping women awake at night? The New York Times interviewed several moms for a piece, and called sleep aids like Lunesta and melatonin "mother's little helpers" for the 21st century. The moms interviewed all said they lie awake at night—usually around 3 am—thinking about all the little things they didn't get done that day, or need to do tomorrow.

Plus: Moms' 6 Biggest Sleep Mistakes

Cheryl Downs McCoy, a 45-year-old mom and museum exhibit writer from California, said that her sleep is interrupted by the little things: "Most of the time I get stuck mulling over the logistics of how everything’s going to get done—my brain really digs down the minutiae."

Meg Wolitzer, 52, who authors the blog "Writing on Ambien," said her sleeplessness began when she had kids—and that her husband didn't have the same problem. “Waking up in the middle of the night is the problem of every woman I know. The minute I had children I was like the mother listening in the woods for the bear. I don’t know if men are less vigilant, but my husband doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night. He could sleep in a dunking booth.”

Plus: 7 Ways to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Other moms quoted in the article said they actually like being up at 3 or 4 am, because it gives them the me-time they don't get during the day. McCoy counts herself in that group, saying: “It’s the only time in a 24-hour period when no one needs me or wants me or expects me to do something. Despite the inconvenience, it’s a time that’s blissfully mine.”

Do you get a good night's sleep, or do you find yourself lying awake at 3 am? Have you ever woken up super-early to get me-time?