The Sleep-Work Balance: Strategies for Working Women to Improve Sleep

The Sleep-Work Balance: Strategies for Working Women to Improve Sleep

Humans require sleep to function well on a physical, mental, and emotional level. Sleep is a basic human requirement. It is crucial for working women, who have special difficulties juggling their obligations at home and at work. Many women struggle to get enough sleep in today’s fast-paced and demanding workplace, which can have negative effects on their health, productivity, and general quality of life. In this post, we’ll examine the value of sleep for working women and talk about how to get better sleep and strike a healthy balance between work and rest.

Sleep is Important for Working Women

For mental, emotional, and physical health to function at their best, sleep is crucial. Although many working women have various roles and obligations, such as caring for children or older family members, doing domestic chores, and volunteering, this can cause sleep deprivation. For working women, chronic sleep deprivation can have a variety of detrimental effects, such as:

Reduced cognitive function: Sleep is essential for cognitive processes like decision-making, problem-solving, memory consolidation, and attention. These cognitive processes can be hampered by a lack of sleep, which can lower performance and productivity at work.

Strategies for Working Women to Improve Sleep

Emotional disturbances: Lack of sleep can interfere with the ability to regulate emotions, which can cause mood changes, impatience, and an increase in stress. This may have an effect on a woman’s capacity to handle interpersonal pressures at work and influence her general well-being.

Health risks: Lack of sleep has been connected to a number of health issues, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and a weakened immune system. To reduce their risks, postmenopausal women and other women who are already at higher risk for some of these health issues need to prioritize getting enough sleep.

Accident risk: Lack of sleep can impair motor abilities, response speeds, and judgment, increasing the likelihood of mishaps and injuries in both daily life and the workplace.

The conflict between work and family obligations: Juggling work and family obligations can be difficult, and lack of sleep can make things worse. Women who have trouble sleeping may find it challenging to balance their work and family obligations, which can result in stress and exhaustion.

The importance of sleep for working women’s physical health, cognitive performance, emotional stability, and work-family balance makes it crucial that they prioritize and enhance their sleep.

Sleeping Issues for Working Women

Women who work have particular difficulties that can interfere with their sleep patterns. Some of the typical difficulties include:

Workplace stress: Workplace stressors that can interfere with sleep include long workdays, difficult tasks, and heavy workloads. In addition, stress from the workplace can cause worry and racing thoughts, which makes it difficult for women to fall asleep or stay asleep all night.

domestic duties: The majority of domestic duties, including as child care, cooking, cleaning, and providing for older family members, are carried out by women. Women may find it difficult to find time for self-care and sleep as a result of these obligations, which can result in sleep deprivation.

Hormonal alterations: Women’s sleep patterns can be disturbed by hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. For instance, heat flashes associated with menopause and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can impair both the quantity and quality of sleep.

Long work hours and high demands: Career women often put in long hours and have demanding jobs, which can lead to stress and less time for sleep. Poor sleep quality and quantity can be caused by job pressures, work-related stress, and short deadlines.

Travel for Work: Career women who travel regularly for work may find that their sleep patterns are disturbed by time zone shifts, jet lag, and strange sleeping arrangements. This may cause sleep problems and have an impact on general health.

Caregiving obligations: Many working women also have obligations to provide for young children, elderly relatives, or loved ones who are ill. Caregiving tasks can be emotionally and physically taxing, which frequently means sacrificing sleep.

Lack of work flexibility: Women may find it difficult to negotiate options like flexible working hours, remote work options, or shortened workdays. Women may find it challenging to balance their personal and professional obligations as a result of this lack of flexibility.

Discrimination at Work: Women may experience discrimination at work, including unequal compensation, a lack of advancement opportunities, and stress from the job that interferes with sleep. Discrimination at work can also lead to more stress, worry, and depression, which will lower the quality of your sleep.

Stress at work: Many working women balance a variety of duties and responsibilities, including their employment, which might result in more stress at work. Work-related travel and high work expectations might interfere with sleep patterns and negatively impact overall well-being.

Common problems like sleep disorders and sleep deprivation can have long-term effects on both your personal and professional lives. Brian Gunia, professor and associate dean at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, asserts that “poor or insufficient sleep can result in a number of undesirable behaviors, issues with mental and affective health, cognitive deficiencies, and physical ailments.

Each of these problems has a variety of ways in which it might hurt the organizations where they work. For instance, poor sleep can cause employees to become distracted, which inhibits them from accomplishing organizational goals, or it might increase the risk of blunders and even physical harm. Alternatively, it might make it more difficult for staff members to communicate effectively and professionally with clients, customers, or others.

And a sizable portion of the populace probably faces difficulties with sleep. According to a recent study, 26% to 4% of people have excessive sleepiness and 4% have obstructive sleep apnea, which are both signs of insomnia.

Getting more restful sleep is something that everyone can work towards and improve with the correct care and support.

Sleep Advantages

Healthy REM rhythms, according to scientists, aid in mental focus and information clearing. This is why following a restful night’s sleep, you can complete jobs or decisions more rapidly.

The distinction between sleep disorders and disrupted sleep must be made clear.

: Apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, sleepwalking, and restless legs syndrome are all examples of sleep disorders.

: Fatigue, restlessness, daytime sleepiness, a lack of energy, discomfort, and irregular sleep patterns are all symptoms of disordered sleep.

Sleep-Work Balance for Working Women to Improve Sleep

Healthy hormone processes and emotional control are supported by enough sleep. In particular, cortisol, a steroid hormone generated by the adrenal glands and also known as the stress hormone, is controlled by sleep, and cortisol also aids in the control of other hormones in the body.

Poor sleep will cause you to fall down a hormonal flight of steps, according to Sara Gottfried, MD, a clinical assistant professor in the Thomas Jefferson University Department of integrative health and nutritional sciences. Your cortisol peaks within 30 minutes of waking up when you are calm, sleep soundly, and feel refreshed. Your thyroid and estrogen are among the other hormones that are activated by that peak.

Getting enough sleep enables you to:

: less frequently get sick.

: keep a healthy weight.

: Reduce your likelihood of developing significant health issues including diabetes and heart disease.

: Become less stressed and happier.

: Better performance at work and clearer thinking.

: Get along with people more easily.

How to Get More Sleep as a Working Woman

Despite the difficulties, there are a number of tactics that working women can use to increase the quantity and quality of their sleep. Here are some useful tactics:

Prioritise Sleep: Working women must make sleep a top priority and an essential part of their daily schedule. Depending on personal needs, establish a regular sleep routine and aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Do not miss out on sleep to fulfill work or other obligations.

Establish a Calming Bedtime Habit: Tell your body to calm down and get ready for sleep by creating a calm bedtime habit. This can involve relaxing activities like reading, listening to calming music, meditating, or deep breathing, as well as avoiding stimulating activities like screens or strenuous exercise right before bed.

Make Your Space Sleep-Friendly: Make sure your bedroom is comfortable for sleeping. Keep the space chilly, quiet, and dark. Purchase a cozy mattress and pillows. Reduce or get rid of sources of light and sound like electronics and outside distractions.

Manage Stress: Engage in relaxation practices like yoga and exercise.

Recognizing the Value of Sleep

The physiological process of sleep is intricate and crucial to the body and mind’s health. The body goes through a number of stages while you sleep, including hormone regulation, immune system activity, memory consolidation, and tissue repair. Numerous health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, weaker immune systems, cognitive decline, emotional disorders, and poor work efficiency and productivity, can be brought on by insufficient sleep or sleep deprivation.

Achieving a balanced sleep-work schedule is essential for working women since they frequently confront special challenges in both their home and professional life. Sleep is a key physiological requirement that has a significant impact on general health and well-being and has a direct bearing on performance at work, productivity, and career success. However, working women may find it difficult to obtain enough sleep due to the demands of a demanding job and other obligations. This essay will examine the difficulties career women encounter in striking a good balance between sleep and work and offer doable solutions to enhance both the quality and quantity of their slumber.

Sleep And Mental Health

Among other risk factors to your general health and well-being, lack of sleep leads to the onset, maintenance, and recurrence of mental health issues. For instance, those who suffer from sleeplessness are 17 times more likely to develop clinically significant levels of anxiety and despair than those who do not. “Almost every tissue in your body is impacted by sleep.

It impacts your immune system, hunger, respiration, blood pressure, and cardiovascular health, according to Dr. Michael Twery, a former sleep expert at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and consultant for public health and biomedical research. “Sleep deprivation and sleep disorders can cause issues in a person’s daily life, particularly in their family. People’s performance at work or school may be impacted.

Even though research focuses mostly on the links between anxiety and depression and insomnia, there is evidence that other mental health issues are also linked to sleep issues. Poor sleep, for instance, has also been linked to eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and psychosis spectrum symptoms like hallucinations and delusions. Additionally, research has shown that people with mental health issues are more likely to have specific sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, excessive daytime sleepiness, and narcolepsy.

Sleep and Professional Vitality

Lack of sleep affects productivity, career advancement, and job happiness, and increases absenteeism, accidents, and unproductive work habits that are tied to the workplace. On the other hand, getting more rest enhances learning, knowledge acquisition, and memory.

Impaired sleep has a number of negative effects on your job.

Making decisions: Lack of sleep lowers cerebral metabolism in the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain in charge of cognitive functions including judgment and decision-making.

Sleep-Work Balance: Strategies for Working Women to Improve Sleep and for good health

Risk-taking: A sleep study revealed that participants who were sleep deprived tended to choose to take on more financial risk.

Memory and mood: One night of sleep deprivation results in elevated tension, disorientation, and exhaustion as well as hostility and anxiety scale rises.

Sleep deprivation stifles creativity and hinders critical thinking, which contributes to subpar performance and ultimately jeopardizes your organization.

Less inspiring: Sleep-deprived managers will have a harder time motivating their staff.

Circadian rhythm disruption: The circadian rhythm, or the 24-hour cycle of physical, mental, and behavioral changes, affects one’s level of wellness (or lack thereof). An irregular circadian rhythm can interfere with your daily routine and affect performance or other abilities necessary for professional success.

Women’s daily goals to attain career status are influenced by their sleep quality.

Before focusing on their work, women may want to rest down for a complete night of sleep. Research from Washington State University discovered that the quality of women’s sleep affected their mood and altered their perceptions of job advancement. The quality of men’s sleep, however, had no impact on their objectives.

The researchers conducted a two-week survey study of 135 American workers before coming to this result. The participants kept track of their emotional state at the moment, their sleep quality, and later in the day, how they felt about aspiring for more status and responsibility at work.

Lead author Leah Sheppard, an associate professor in WSU’s Carson College of Business, said that when women receive a good night’s sleep and their mood is lifted, they are more likely to be oriented in their daily intents towards achieving status and responsibility at work. “We observed that they were less oriented towards those goals if their sleep is poor and lowers their positive mood.”

The specific reason why sleep impacts mood affects women’s goals but not men’s is unknown, but the researchers assume it may have to do with how men and women regulate their emotions differently, as well as cultural standards, or some combination of these factors.

Cultural preconceptions of women as being more emotional can contribute to the neuroscientific finding that women tend to have less control over their emotions and more emotional reactivity than men. However, because males are often perceived as being more ambitious than women, there is more pressure on them to advance professionally. As a result, men may be less likely to be discouraged from their career goals by poor sleep quality.

But Sheppard added that there is some positive news for women who desire to advance in their careers. They may, for example, enhance their job aspirations by placing stronger boundaries around their work hours, practicing meditation to help with both sleep and emotion control, and, of course, just trying to get more sleep.

“It’s important to be able to connect aspirations to something happening outside of the work environment that is controllable,” she remarked. “Anyone can do a lot of things to get a better night’s sleep and generally regulate mood.”

A better night’s sleep

For the brain to be able to adjust to stimuli or be “plastic,” it has to get a sufficient quantity of sleep. A lack of sleep prevents you from processing what you’ve learned during the day, which could make it harder for you to remember it later.

Making improved sleep patterns is frequently the first step to getting more rest. You can achieve a good night’s sleep by practicing appropriate sleeping habits, often known as “sleep hygiene”. Consistency—going to bed and rising at the same times every night, especially on the weekends—is key to developing better sleep patterns. According to Dr. Susheel Patil, MD, Ph.D., Director of the Sleep Medicine Programme for University Hospitals and former Director of the Sleep Medicine Fellowship Programme at Johns Hopkins, everyone should get seven to eight hours of sleep each night in order to feel rested. To make up for the “sleep debt” we accrue throughout the week, many people try to get more rest over the weekend.

Here are some methods to enhance your sleeping patterns and sleep quality.

Track your sleep habits with digital tools like FitBit, Oura Ring, health apps, and others.

Make your bedroom more peaceful: A welcoming bedroom setting can serve as an invitation to unwind and fall asleep. To encourage better sleep hygiene, set up your bedroom such that it is calm, dark, calming, and at the right temperature.

Plan your sleep schedule: Optimising your sleep schedule, bedtime routine, and daily routines are all parts of using habits to create automatic, high-quality sleep. Schedule your waking and sleeping hours and stick to them.

Improve your diet and nutrition by consuming more natural foods and fewer processed ones.

Stay active: Regular exercise helps with sleep disorders like insomnia and restless legs syndrome and improves sleep quality.

Natural light: Throughout the day, try to get more exposure to natural light by sitting by a window or taking a walk.

Examine prescription drugs and other diagnoses: Certain medications may impair your ability to sleep. To find out how certain conditions or treatments may influence your ability to sleep, speak with your healthcare professional.

Career women can improve their general well-being, boost their productivity at work, and strike a better work-life balance by taking efforts to improve their sleep. Keep in mind that self-care, such as prioritizing sleep, is crucial for businesswomen to succeed in both their professional and personal life. 

sleep benefits and Health: Strategies for Working Women to Improve Sleep

Career women need to understand the significance of sleep as a basic physiological necessity and make it a non-negotiable part of their daily schedule.


Establishing a regular sleep pattern, minimizing screen time before bed, doing soothing activities before bed, and having a comfortable sleeping environment are some effective ways to promote sleep.

In order to create a positive workplace culture that promotes employees’ well-being, it is crucial for working women to discuss their need for sleep with their employers and coworkers. Additionally, getting expert assistance for stress or sleep issues can significantly enhance sleep quality.

Finally, by putting these techniques into practice, working women can enhance their quality of sleep, productivity, and general quality of life. For the maintenance of one’s physical, mental, and emotional health, finding a balance between work and sleep is essential.

The SleepWit emphasizes the importance of creating a comfortable sleep environment, establishing a consistent sleep schedule, and engaging in relaxation techniques before bed.

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