Sleep is a window to our general health and a very mysterious process that still mystifies scientists today. Sleep problems affect real people, and the information available often washes out the complexities of sleep problems at the individual level.
Every parent knows that having children means losing sleep. This begins with your pregnancy and extends through the course of your childrens' early years, and can exact a serious toll on your physical and mental health.
For most of my 20s and 30s, if I couldn't sleep, I could usually point to some anxiety as the cause -- a stimulating writing project, an important exam, a conflict with someone I loved. It's only now, in my early 40s, that I frequently experience sleeplessness for no apparent or obvious reason.
A "do nothing" women's movement? I've been thinking about this a lot since I spoke with Dr. Rubin Naiman at last week's World Sleep Summit for Women's Health and Power. He told women that falling asleep was easy. All you have to do is nothing.
In the classic children's story from the Brothers Grimm, a beautiful princess sleeps her way to an enchanting life with a handsome prince. If it were only that easy. For many of the nation's 65 million family caregivers, sleep is an elusive luxury and a true fairy tale.
It never occurred to me to get more sleep. Sleep was for wimps. Sure, I was tired, I'd joke, but there was no way I was going to take a nap. I didn't have time for a nap.
What woman has time for a nap?