A new survey has revealed that almost half (43%) of British women are not getting enough sleep while (48%) say they don’t feel well-rested when they wake up.
The ‘Reclaim Your Sleep’ survey was supported by the Sleep Apnoea Trust Association (SATA) and conducted by YouGov for ResMed Ltd.
From the survey it emerges that women are more likely than men to have trouble sleeping (46% versus 36%).
At least 36% of women wake up during the night and are not able to get back to sleep. This happens only to 23% of men.
The survey also reveals that 60% of women become irritable during the day because of their sleep problems compared to 47% of men.
Lack of sleep also affects women’s confidence. From the survey, it emerges that 33% of women feel less confidence in their appearance as a result of a bad night’s sleep compared to 20% of men.
The most troubling finding of this survey is that 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%)1.
Experts are warning that these sleep problems 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.
Professor John Stradling, a sleep expert from Oxford University says: “Often women think that feeling exhausted is just part of modern life when in fact it could be something more serious. Many are not aware that they may have sleep apnoea meaning that they are missing out on the medical advice or treatment that they need. Remaining untreated leaves women at risk of reduced quality of life and serious health conditions, so it is important that they speak to their GP about any sleep problems that they have the sooner their sleep issues are addressed by a sleep expert, the better.”
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a debilitating condition affecting around 1.5 million adults in the UK.
Bill Johnston, Chairman, from the Sleep Apnoea Trust Association says: “The overall lack of awareness around sleep apnoea symptoms and its impact on a person’s health may mean that many are suffering in silence so it is important that we work with healthcare professionals to uncover this missing group and help minimise the impact of sleep problems on their lives. Women also need to help their doctor understand how they sleep to avoid misdiagnosis. Discussing their sleep quality, and any difficulties sleeping (such as insomnia, frequent awakenings, snoring and sleepiness or tiredness during the day), will really help.”
The ‘Reclaim Your Sleep’ survey results coincide with a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of sleep apnoea amongst women.
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