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How much sleep should a woman get?
Is stress keeping you up at night? Here's a fact that might help you stop counting sheep in no time—you should actually sleep more when you're stressed. "Sleep is one of the absolute best ways to decrease stress hormones. In fact, it is the best way to get your cortisol down and your epinephrine down," Dr. Northrup says.

"Have you noticed when you don't get enough sleep, you gain weight every time?" Dr. Northrup says. High levels of cortisol in your bloodstream can make you gain more abdominal fat, which can contribute to heart attacks, strokes and high cholesterol.

The key to getting more sleep is embracing bedtime, Dr. Northrup says. "I want women to get enough sleep, but I bet you feel guilty if you sleep more than eight hours. ... When I can, I'll get 15," she says. "When I can, I'll sleep that long and it does me a world of good. So I want to give you permission, all of you, when you have the chance, do that. Okay? It's a beauty treatment."
FROM: Ask Dr. Christiane Northrup
Published on March 14, 2008