Everyone needs sleep, but not everyone can get enough -- and a new study out of Britain finds that three quarters of women are sleep-deprived, compared to one quarter of men.
Dr. Kathy Gromer, of the Minnesota Sleep Institute, says women face a lot of challenges when it comes to sleep. Once a month, hormones change -- then they change again at pregnancy. Of course, there's an additional lack of sleep when the baby is born -- and then menopause will change their hormones again.
"We've known for a long time that women have different challenges with their sleep than men," Gromer said.
There are even more challenges for working mothers. Cheryl Anderson said the 30 years she's lived being both a nurse and mother has been exhausting.
"I can't remember a time that I didn't have a sleep problem," she said.
Gromer says that's because stress can take over -- and Anderson said she could relate.
"I would wake up at two or three in the morning, couldn't go back to sleep," she recalled. "Your mind is racing. 'Did I get the dishes done? Did I sign the homework?"
On top of juggling work and home life, inconsistent hours meant changing bedtimes -- and that left Anderson becoming obsessed with watching the clock.
"You want to go sleep. You are desperate to go to sleep," she explained.
That's why she sought help at MSI and met Gromer, who suggests that women should try cutting down their stress by making and maintaining lists.
"Solve those problems mentally before bedtime, so there is literally less to worry about," she suggested.
As for bedtime, Gromer recommends that women should strive for seven hours of sleep a night and try to stick to a consistent schedule.
"You have to keep the bedtime the same time and rise at the same time -- or at least, not have a big gap," she said. "Half an hour, we can do."
Anderson says since her sleep patterns started getting better, her whole life seems more manageable.
"We jut don't give sleep the proper respect that it deserves, and it is a key element to your health," Anderson said.
Researchers behind the sleep study found that a lack of sleep can have lingering effects during the day after 77 percent of participants admitted to problems concentrating, 64 percent said they feel less productive at work, and 83 said they suffer mood swings as a result of poor sleeping patterns.