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The article I have chosen to discuss in this paper is concerned with the question of how many hours a night a woman has to sleep to have a nice, productive day life. The author argues that it is harder for women to get enough sleep, since they have got much more things to do and much more duties to perform than men. She also cites a study in which it has been found that women are more likely to wake up to a baby’s cry. She adds that there are also hormonal insomnia issues in women to consider. The author concludes that “much has to change” before all women can sleep 7½ hours a night: workplaces need to allow parent-friendly schedules, schools have to stop giving kids assignments that are too difficult and demand parents’ help, and the couples themselves have to try and divide the housework more equally.
I agree with the author’s claims, and I am going to argue that multiple social roles prevent a lot of women from getting a good night’s sleep. A 2007 poll conducted by National Sleep Foundation contains data that supports this statement. First of all, it was found that two-thirds of women regularly experience sleep problems, and a half of women often wake up feeling unrefreshed in the morning. It is then obvious that a large number of American women do have sleeping troubles.
Concerning the effect that housework, jobs and parenting have on women’s sleep, the poll has found that:
- nearly three fourths of mothers working full-time experience symptoms of insomnia at least a few times a week (72% vs. 67% of all women);
- mothers staying at home are the most likely segment (59% vs. 50% overall) to feel un-refreshed upon waking up;
- working women with no children get better sleep than those who have children – while they sleep less compared to other women (average of 6.99 hours vs. 7.47), they still report more often that they have a good night’s sleep (44% vs. 39%);
- more than a half (52%) of women report being unable to sleep because they are running out of time;
These results speak in favor of my statement that women’s social functions prevent them from sleeping well. The women with the combined burden of work and family upon their shoulders are more likely to experience insomnia, and even mothers that choose to devote themselves exclusively to parenting are not satisfied with their sleep. At the same time, women who focus on their career seem to be more efficient when it comes to sleep: they sleep less; yet, at the same time, they get rested better than other women. Lastly, women often report that they simply do not have enough time to sleep as much as they would like to. Having analyzed the data contained in the poll, I conclude that they prove my claims about women’s sleeping problems.