How can women treat their sleeping problems?

Lack of sleep may be worse for women than men. One Duke study found that women who are poor sleepers tended to be more overweight than men with sleep problems. With two-thirds of women admitting to sleep problems at least two nights per week, according to the National Sleep Foundation, that's a serious nationwide problem. If that sounds like you, you need to take action.

Despite our best efforts, we can find ourselves unable to get our full 7-8 hours of slumber. One simple solution is to allow yourself a 15- to 30-minute nap during the day. Research has found that naps can also help spark creativity and problem-solving, so it's not a bad idea overall. Just don't nap for more than an hour, or that could help contribute to nighttime restlessness.

You can try some herbal options, such as 5-HTP, tryptophan or melatonin, which some find beneficial. Check with your doctor before using supplements. Also, take stock of any prescription medications you take, since they can affect your sleep. Discuss the issue with your doctor.

And remember, your mom always had some good ideas. Counting sheep isn't as silly as it sounds, since repetitive mundane thoughts can help settle the mind. And that glass of warm milk can bring relief.

Experts agree that if you have trouble sleeping, don't toss and turn all night. Reduce stress by meditating or listening to soothing music. Remember, it's not a performance -- relax.

Continue Learning about Sleep Disorders

Sleep Tips for Shift Workers
Sleep Tips for Shift Workers
Are you one of the 15 million Americans who work a nontraditional schedule? If so, you're a shift worker -- someone who works hours other than the usu...
Read More
What foods should I avoid if I have trouble sleeping?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Just as there are many foods that help you sleep well, there are also foods to avoid. Refined carboh...
More Answers
I Had Too Many Restless Nights—Until I Did This
I Had Too Many Restless Nights—Until I Did ThisI Had Too Many Restless Nights—Until I Did ThisI Had Too Many Restless Nights—Until I Did ThisI Had Too Many Restless Nights—Until I Did This
All I wanted was seven solid hours of sleep. And I actually got it.
Start Slideshow
How Should I Do Progressive Muscle Relaxation?
How Should I Do Progressive Muscle Relaxation?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.