All of our favorite health pros are talking about it: sleep is the most powerful anti-stress, anti-inflammatory tool we have. And most of us are neglecting it – big time.
Whether that neglect comes from revenge bedtime procrastination, young kids at home, or the sleep issue women aren’t talking about: hormonal imbalances, the results are the same – most of us just aren’t getting enough sleep.
While the solutions are complex, one thing is certain: a good mattress is non-negotiable. When Avocado approached us to talk about sleep health with our audience, we spoke with women’s health specialist Allison Oswald to learn what she’s seeing with women in her practice and the sleep issue women aren’t talking about. To our surprise, Allison had just purchased a new Avocado Green Pillow Top (and the Alpaca Wool Mattress Topper) weeks before! Shop for a new GOTS-certified organic mattress of your own and learn just why Oswald believes that this often-overlooked health metric is so crucial.
Naturally, when I’m working with newly postpartum moms in my practice, sleep issues are common. Learning to lean into the quality vs. quantity of sleep is crucial in seasons of life involving a new baby or a resistant toddler.
That said, women suffer from sleep issues beyond just the lack of sleep from a new baby. In fact, women are 40% more likely to have insomnia than men.*
The biggest sleep issue I see with women is one that too often goes overlooked — so many women suffer with the impact of hormonal changes on their sleep. Hormonal fluctuations occur throughout a woman’s life, during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause. These fluctuations can drastically disrupt sleep patterns and lead to serious issues such as insomnia or restless sleep.
Women often wear many hats in a household, juggling motherhood, caretaking and professional responsibilities in any given 24-hour period. This balancing act can create so much stress and anxiety, making it difficult to unwind and sleep when we need it most.
Sleep is vital for our health and wellness, playing a crucial role in various aspects of our physical and mental well-being. Here are a few reasons why sleep is so important and deserves more of your focus:
Restoration and Repair: During sleep, our bodies undergo essential processes of restoration and repair. This includes repairing cells, tissues, and muscles and regulating the immune system. Adequate sleep allows the body to heal and rejuvenate, promoting overall health.
Cognitive Functioning: Sleep is closely linked to cognitive function, including memory, concentration, and problem-solving abilities.
Emotional Well-being: Lack of sleep can negatively impact mood and emotional well-being. Sufficient sleep helps regulate emotions. It also improves resilience and the ability to cope with stress.
Hormonal Balance: Sleep plays a crucial role in regulating hormone levels, including those involved in appetite regulation, metabolism, and reproductive health. Disruptions in sleep can lead to hormonal imbalances, which can have various health implications.
Immune Function: Insufficient sleep can weaken the immune system and increase susceptibility to illnesses.
Weight Management: Lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain because it affects the hormones that regulate appetite. Sufficient sleep supports a healthy metabolism and aids in weight management.
The importance of sleep for our well-being is essential for women to prioritize. Now more than ever. Acknowledging that sleep is a highly productive part of our regular wellness routine is a mindset shift that we all deserve!
That’s why I’ve paused to evaluate my own sleep environment and encourage so many other women to do the same. Prioritizing a quality mattress is key. Avocado mattresses are GOTS-certified organic and radically honest about their sourcing, manufacturing, and materials, adhering to the most rigorous standards. That alone helps put my mind to rest knowing that there are no off-gassing issues or materials known or suspected to cause harm in my family’s bedrooms.
Getting enough sleep can feel like an uphill battle, and it happens to be the last thing we focus on when we have a to-do list a mile long. There are a few nervous system regulation tools that I use to positively impact sleep and the mindset around it.
Did you know that the autonomic nervous system and the pelvic floor muscles are connected? In my practice, teaching clients to release tension in these muscles often creates a profound sense of relaxation and self-connection. This is an excellent way to support a restful night’s sleep.
Unclench your bum throughout the day. Simply becoming aware of this very common habit and beginning to learn letting go of tension here, can make you feel more grounded and calmer.
Stop sucking your stomach in all the time. Women often do this subconsciously for a variety of reasons, but tension in the abdomen can lead to an increase in pelvic floor tension and overall body tension.
Breathe. Sounds easy, but very often we breathe in our shoulders and very shallowly. Practice breathing around your lower ribcage/bra line, which can also tap into your more calming side of the nervous system, the parasympathetic system.
Keep a consistent sleep routine and sleep environment. This can greatly contribute to sleep quality. My kids (5, 10 and 12 years old) have become accustomed to our wind down ritual at the end of the day, something I think we all look forward to at this point. After dinner I slowly dim the lights in the house, turn on some relaxing music and we all get ready for bed. When I model this, my kids follow! They start to calm down, get their jammies on and either do homework, read books or play quietly. This usually sets us up for a much easier bedtime, that doesn’t include begging them to sleep or urging them to get ready for bed nearly as often as it once did.
As a mother of three that values a healthy and more sustainable lifestyle, choosing a quality mattress was also something I do not take lightly. We spend so much time in bed, so having a mattress that meets MADE SAFE (r) standards and is a high functioning product was important. Once I discovered the Avocado mattress, I knew it was exactly what we needed.
Avocado’s mission is to be one of the world’s most sustainable brands. Avocado Green Mattress sources GOTS-certified organic materials from their farms in India and Guatemala and are Greenguard Gold certified for low emissions, plus MADE SAFE certified. As members of 1% for the Planet, they even donate 1% of all mattress revenue to environmental non-profits.
For my own bedroom, we went with the California King Avocado Green Pillow Top. The transition from a traditional box spring mattress was so much easier than I thought, I’m not sure why it took me so long! And now we are slowly transitioning all the mattresses in our home to Avocado. It gives me reassurance that my kids are sleeping on something that won’t negatively impact their health and are comfortable too.
TCM Readers: Looking for a new mattress that’ll make improved sleep rituals as enjoyable as they should be? Save up to 20% off all Avocado mattresses for a limited time, including Allison’s Green Pillow Top selection — Consumer Reports’ highest rated innerspring mattress. Plus shop with 10% off across the site on popular items such as Avocado’s Greenguard Gold certified mattress covers, pillows and the brand’s curated selection of natural luxury linens from alpaca wool throws to cushy hemp duvet covers.