A substantial number of US women in their 40s and 50s are not getting enough good quality sleep each night, according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Using data from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey, HCHS researcher Anjel Vahratian, PhD, analyzed sleep duration and quality by menopausal status among nonpregnant women aged 40 to 59 years.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults get 7 or more hours of sleep per night to avoid the health risks of chronic inadequate sleep.
The data Dr Vahratian analyzed suggests that 35.1% of women aged 40 to 59 years get fewer than 7 hours of sleep, on average, in a 24-hour period. But it varied by menopausal status, with 56.0% of perimenopausal women, 40.5% of postmenopausal women, and 32.5% of premenopausal women not meeting the 7+ hour recommendation.
In addition, nearly one in five (19.4%) nonpregnant women in the 40-to-59 age bracket report trouble falling asleep four or more times in the past week. The percentage increased from 16.8% in premenopausal women to 24.7% in perimenopausal and 27.1% in postmenopausal women.
More than a quarter (26.7%) of nonpregnant women in this age range report trouble staying asleep on four or more occasions in the past week. It ranged from 23.7% in premenopausal women to 30.8% in perimenopausal and 35.9% in postmenopausal women.
Dr Vahratian also found that nearly one in two (48.9%) nonpregnant women in this age group report not waking up feeling well rested 4 days or more in the past week, with the percentage ranging from 47.0% in premenopausal women to 49.9% in perimenopausal and 55.1% in postmenopausal women.
"Sleep duration and quality are important contributors to health and wellness. Insufficient sleep is associated with an increased risk for chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Women may be particularly vulnerable to sleep problems in midlife during the menopausal transition," Dr Vahratian notes in the NCHS data brief published online September 6.
"Sleep duration changes with advancing age, but sleep duration and quality are also influenced by concurrent changes in women's reproductive hormone levels. Because sleep is critical for optimal health and well-being, the findings in this report highlight areas for further research and targeted health promotion," Dr Vahratian adds.
NCHS. Published online September 6, 2017. Full text
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Cite this: Megan Brooks. Sleep Health Subpar in Many Middle-Aged Women in the US - Medscape - Sep 07, 2017.