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Sleep issues might put women at higher risk of blood pressure

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The changing hormone profile across the reproductive life of a woman from puberty through the reproductive period to the postmenopausal years has a considerable influence on sleep. Abrupt changes in or withdrawal of female hormones may lead to sleep disruption. However, during pregnancy, multiple factors contribute to sleep disruption and these vary according to the stage of pregnancy. Women, however, should be encouraged to track whether there is a cyclical change in their symptoms in association with hormone changes or if the symptom changes are due to age-related changes in hormonal profile.

As per a survey sleep-related problems seemed to increase with age. Most of the women noted that they keep going despite their exhaustion relying on coffee and other caffeinated beverages to stay awake. The most sleep deprived women were those who were pregnant, new mothers or those with mood disorders. As per the research reported to British Sleep Society, a researcher discovered that women who slept five hours or less were twice as likely to suffer from high blood pressure than women who slept seven or more hours nightly.

Grief or loss is another change that can cause sleep problems that may be short-lived or could indicate the beginning of a long-term problem. Studies conducted in the UK and US have linked too little sleep to a greater risk of obesity or high blood pressure or hypertension. Hypertension increases the risk of a stroke or a heart attack. During menopause, many women experience some type of sleep disturbance as a result of hormonal changes.

Lifestyle changes may help women to improve sleep including physical activity like moderate exercise particularly when it is done early in the day and also relaxation, massage, meditation or other stress reduction techniques. Exposure to light during waking hours helps to set the body clock. Eating well provides the body with all of the protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, and calories it needs for daily energy as well as for night time maintenance and repair.

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