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Sleep Disturbances In Women

Written by Dr. Anitha Paderla, MBBS | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Jan 03, 2017
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About Sleep Disturbances

"There's a certain kind of rhythm that goes with a woman’s monthly cycle, where sometimes in the month, she feels more energetic, sometimes more creative, sometimes more sleepy, sometimes more sexual, sometimes more vulnerable. That's all part of being female" -Rako

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A woman goes through different phases in her life. The phasic changes in hormones, body temperature, mood, and emotional state during puberty, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause have profound effects on sleep quality, daytime functioning, and well-being in adolescent girls and adult women. It generally has been assumed that sleep prior to puberty is similar in girls and boys, and that sex differences first emerge during this developmental transition.

Sleep maybe affected during different phases which are exclusive to women.

Menstrual Cycles: Changes in women's physique occur at different times in the menstrual cycle and may affect sleep. Women's sleep experiences vary greatly during the menstrual cycle and certain types of sleep problems are associated with each phase of the cycle.

Pregnancy: Hormonal changes and physical discomfort are common during pregnancy and both can affect sleep. All pregnant women will experience some degree of disturbed sleep by the third trimester.

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Menopause: Many women during the menopausal transition (peri-menopause, menopause, post-menopause) complain of sleep disturbances.

Social Factors: In addition to perimenopausal and menopausal effects on sleep, surveys show that more than 80% of working women report fatigue and exhaustion, and half of them get inadequate sleep.

Sleep complaints are twice as prevalent in women in comparison to men; however 75% of sleep research has been conducted in men. Generally sex differences with relation to sleep and sleep disorders remain unappreciated. There is a need to study sex differences in sleep to fully understand the role that sleep plays in normal development, maturation, adaptation, aging, and disease propensity.

  1. Sleep Disorders in Women - (http://www.emedicinehealth.com/sleep_disorders_in_women/article_em.htm)
  2. Sleep Dysfunction in Women - (http://www.emedicine.com/neuro/topic656.htm)

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