Montgomery County

Gen X Women Find Adulting Doesn't Include Much Sleep

The "have it all" generation is struggling to find some shut eye amid all the children, errands and work

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Beth DeLuca is prone to phrases like "once the kids are asleep," "where's the basil" and "what time is basketball?"

The Generation X mother and wife from Lansdale, Montgomery County, doesn't get a whole lot of time to herself, and the lack of me-time is affecting her nighttime routine.

DeLuca is not alone, according to experts who have studied and written about women entering their midlife years. Gen X women, born between 1965 and 1980, are reporting less time for sleep and it's affecting the way they think about their lives, according to the author of a new book, "Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis."

"This is a lot of women who are going through this right now," writer Ada Calhoun told NBC10. She interviewed 200 women for her book and found raising a family, working and the complications of modern life don't make for a lot of shut eye each night.

The lack of sleep is also causing other issues, like depression and anxiety, experts say.

It's a combination of the big issues — caring for aging parents AND young kids, long work hours — and the mundane — school lunches and the laundry that really grinds on middle-aged women.

"I talk to a lot of female patients and once the kids go to bed (they say), 'I have to do the dishes, the laundry get their stuff ready for the next day,'" Dr. Hiral Patel of Einstein Medical Center Montgomery said, noting that women are often pulling double shifts every day.

So what can you do to get more sleep? Experts told NBC10 making life changes will help you get the rest you need. Those changes include limiting devices and making strict bed times.

Calhoun said that for her, strength and sleep came with numbers.

"Knowing a lot of women were going through this left me less crazed," she said. "It helped a lot."

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