In general women are twice as likely to have difficulties falling asleep than men and women suffer from sleep disorders more often. Main causes of sleep disorders in women include female hormonal cycles, increased emotional reactions, high sensitivity to life problems and different types of stresses. Sleep disorders in women are more common in older ages because of the lack of hormones and accumulated life treats and concerns.
Sleep disorders in women caused by menstrual cycle
During menstrual cycle all healthy women experience pretty complicated hormonal changes which can change sleeping pattern and trigger sleep disorders especially during premenstrual period. It is well known that mood swings and emotional disturbances are often observed during premenstrual syndrome (PMS) which sometimes could coincide with sleep disorders in women.
Sleep disorders in women
Premenstrual syndrome can affect the way how women are sleeping (duration and deepness). The most common sleep disorders associated with premenstrual syndrome usually include lack of sleep, trouble falling asleep, difficulty waking up, nighttime waking, fatigue during the day and difficulties in concentration.
Hormonal changes are responsible for sleep disorders during premenstrual period of the menstrual cycle – hormonal fluctuations during menstrual cycle can affect women sleep directly and/or indirectly.
Sleep disorders caused by menopause
Menopause is another stressful period of women life – stressful because of dramatic decrease of female hormones, because of growing age and body changes and because of newly appeared unpleasant menopausal symptoms including sleep disturbances and sleep disorders. Decreased concentrations of estrogens during menopause usually provoke sleep disorders.
One of common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes and night sweats which disturb restful sleep and provoke on-going sleep disorders. After hot flashes and night sweats women are usually feel fatigue during day and lack of concentration. About two thirds of menopausal women have sleep disturbances and/or sleep disorders.
Sleep-disordered breathing is common in postmenopausal women. Multiple breathing cessations during sleep occur with sleep apnea. The resulting breathing difficulty disturbs sleep and may cause daytime fatigue. Sleep apnea is linked to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
Sleep disorders in women caused by lifestyle
Generally speaking, very often women reduce the duration of their relaxing and sleeping time because of lifestyle full of mothers’ and wives’ responsibilities (very often pretty stressful responsibilities!). In addition, reproductive period of women life also can be stressful because of pregnancies, abortions, deliveries and even complicated on-going contraception.
Nowadays women are forced to compete with men and at the same time fulfill all women responsibilities – this is why women are forced to reduce their sleeping time and trigger sleep disorders.
Some women professions also can trigger sleep disorders. Women who work in rotating and/or night shifts are likely to experience sleep disturbances and/or sleep disorders.
Passive and inactive lifestyle also could be a reason for sleeping problems. Passive women with long sleep (more than 9-10 hours) can disturb body clock and face sleep disorders.
It was observed that increased use of coffee and/or tobacco by women (especially at the evening before sleeping) can also trigger different types of sleep disorders.
It is well known that drinking women are the risk group for sleep disorders because alcohol could cause sleep fragmentation and nightmares.
Sleep disorders caused by pregnancy
Pregnancy is another stressful period of women life. During pregnancy dramatic hormonal changes can change body rhythm and create sleeping problems and trigger sleeping disorders.
Physical changes during pregnancy and increased emotional reactions can also provoke sleep disorders. During the first trimester of pregnancy women usually sleep longer and take naps just for “covering” pregnancy development. In most cases sleep improves during the second trimester of pregnancy, but during third trimester of pregnancy sleep becomes disrupted due to increased weight, dramatic hormonal changes and emotional status (expectations and treats). The most common sleep disorders associated with pregnancy include snoring and sleep apnea, due to nasal passages becoming swollen.
Sleep disorders in women caused by depression
Depression is another risk factor and cause of sleep disorders in women because anxiety and depression are more common in women. Most common sleep disorders in depressed women are problems during falling asleep and very early morning awakening.
Sleep disorders in women caused by snoring
Snoring women very often suffer from sleep disorders. Snoring often indicates partial airway obstruction, snoring linked with high blood pressure and both can trigger sleep disorders in women.
Sleep disorders in women caused by overweight and obesity
Being overweight or obese increases a woman’s risk of having a sleep disorder. Overweight and/or obese women usually complain that they easily get tired most of the time, and they experience a hard time obtaining a restful sleep at night. Overweight and/or obese women with sleep apnea usually find it hard to breathe at night, when they are sleeping – usually it lasts from few seconds up to one minute. This could be a reason for following sleep disorders.
Sleep disorders in women caused by stress
Some women think that stress is a common condition of women life full of problems and difficulties (social, emotional, gender, physical). In order to cope with the stress associated with daily tasks women tend to overlook the importance of sleep – usually cutting down hours for rest and sleep. Short and disturbed sleep can easily develop sleep disorders in women. At the same time, stress hormones could contribute dramatically to sleep disorders.
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Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.