Medical Housecall: Hattiesburg doctor offers insight on sleeplessness in women

Medical Housecall: Hattiesburg doctor offers insight on sleeplessness in women

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - For working moms, 42-year-old Kristy Gould's routine may sound familiar: morning work out, get the kids ready for school, then a full day's work.

"Coming home and eating dinner and homework and baths and doing it all again," Gould said.

She said her full days were no problem, until a couple of years ago.

"I wake up in the middle of the night," Gould said. "You lay there for a little while in hopes that you go back to sleep and you just realize that you might as well get up and make the coffee cause there is no going back to sleep."

Gould said to cope she has to keep moving.

"If I sit down, if I sit down on the couch, I'm no good after that," Gould said.

Gould's story isn't uncommon. A study by the National Center for Health Statistics reported 35 percent of women in their 40's and 50's get less than seven hours,  almost half don't wake up feeling rested and other women reported trouble falling asleep and a hard time staying asleep.

Family physician, Dr. Allen Martin of Hattiesburg clinic Bellevue Family Medicine in Hattiesburg said not getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep can lead to other problems.

"Cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes, as well as diabetes," Martin said.

He said sleeplessness of this age group may be due to specific life stresses.

"This is the same age group that tends to have children who are either getting ready to graduate high school, have just started college," Martin said.

He added your change in sleeping patterns could be  part of "the change".

"Menopause can be a contributing factor as they are getting hormonal changes and night sweats and hot flashes," Martin said.

Martin said until you go see your doctor to find out the true cause, try a few restrictions like set a bedtime and no caffeine after lunch. Martin had a few more recommendations.

"Getting good exercise, but not right before bed, trying to avoid the screen time within about an hour of going to bed every night," Martin said.

These are tips Gould said she plans to follow to get to the bottom of her wakeful nights. Here's her tip for other women.

"You have to make a decision that you have to take some action on it," Gould said.