Women and Insomnia

Women are more prone to sleep disorders and insomnia. Along with the problems faced by males that lead to insomnia, women have plentiful other problems. Women are naturally more emotional and sensitive to situations. These emotions and hormones lead to depression, anxiety and overthinking. These factors combine up to insomnia and sleep deprivation.

Women suffer from insomnia more than males. Women have a more hectic lifestyle as compared to men. A poll conducted by national sleep foundation in 2005, concluded that 57% women faced insomnia as compared to 51% males.

This shows that women face problems such as depression and anxiety more. They tend to overthink about everything. For example, a mother is likely to overthink about what is to be prepared in lunch the following day. This causes restlessness that leads to insomnia.

Nowadays, the lifestyle of women is more hectic than males. Majority of the women work and take care of their home. They play a double role that causes stress and leads to onset insomnia. The main reason behind this insomnia is the circadian rhythms.

The body develops a delayed time clock leading to sleeping late at night. This is not healthy and occurs due to workload and the feeling of responsibilities. Women need to maintain a balance between work, and sleep in order to live a healthy and relaxed life.

Causes of Insomnia In Females

In comparison to males, females endure innumerable hormonal changes. Women face these hormonal changes at different points of life. The discomfort from these changes can lead to insomnia.

The monthly menstrual cycle, pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause are the auxiliary bounds that women face. These are the additional reasons that can lead to insomnia in women. Women also face problems such as depression and anxiety, fibromyalgia, consumption of alcohol, lifestyle, medical problems etc.

The period of the monthly cycle brings about countless hormonal changes in a women’s body. The hormonal imbalances lead to changes in the sleep cycle. This can be a cause of insomnia. Many women experience agonizing cramps and discomfort during their monthly cycle.

These pains can cause difficulty in sleeping at night. Women suffering from premenstrual dysphoric disorder and premenstrual syndrome experience mood fluctuations and severe pain. This causes insomnia at night.

Pregnancy brings about immense hormonal and physical changes in a women’s body. These changes can cause insomnia. In the first trimester of the pregnancy nausea, discomfort, vomiting, cravings and sleepless nights are common. These factors combine and lead to insomnia during the pregnancy.

In the third trimester of the pregnancy, waking up during the night due to discomfort is common. The urgency to use the bathroom also escalates as the bladder fills up quickly. Women also experience swollen feet and leg cramps that cause discomfort. Strange dreams and nightmares also effect the sleep quality during the pregnancy. During the whole period of pregnancy, it is common for women to experience insomnia.

Perimenopause and menopause also cause insomnia.  During the premenopausal period, the production of estrogen decreases in a women’s body. Estrogen is a hormone that advocates sleep. The decreased production of the hormone, estrogen leads to insomnia. Hot flashes are a deluge of the adrenaline. It causes night sweats and discomfort.

The other causes that source insomnia are depression and anxiety. The statistics show that 20% of the women experience depression due to hormonal changes. Many others face it due to lifestyle. For example, children moving out for college can be a cause of depression. Women also experience insomnia due to fibromyalgia. It is a pain in the whole body that causes discomfort and difficulty to sleep.

Medical reasons cause irritability, discomfort and pain. For example, nasal allergy, sleep apnea, asthma, backache, headache, chronic pain, gastric problems. Insomnia can also be the result of medications prescribed for the treatment.

Sleep apnea causes difficulty in breathing due to the excess relaxation of the muscles. This leads to disrupted sleep and insomnia. Restless leg syndrome is a condition that causes a restless leg. The brain triggers a sensation in the leg that leaves it moving continuously. This can cause irritability and lead to insomnia.

Lifestyle is also a cause of insomnia and women face it more than males. Statistics show that women work more than males. Women are working in offices as well as raising up their kids. The burden of responsibilities is higher that leads to anxiety and depression. The low quality of lifestyle leads to a bad quality of sleep at night.

The excess use of electronic devices also makes the brain alert that leads to insomnia. Stressful and joyful events influence women more than men. For example, children moving out for higher studies can cause insomnia. This would be stressful event for a mother and might not be stressful for a father.

Insomnia also occurs from food intake. Alcohol consumption can lead to sleep apnea, insomnia and daytime sleepiness. Alcohol effects women more than men. The same amount of alcohol consumed by a man and women, however the effects would be greater on women.

This happens because women have less body weight and more alcohol absorbs in their blood. Caffeine intake disrupts the circadian rhythms. Caffeine works as a stimulant and triggers the brain to be more active. This can lead to insomnia at night. Nicotine also works as a stimulant and boosts the energy levels. This disrupts the sleep cycle.                

How Does Insomnia affect Women Health?

Insomnia shortens the sleep period of women. This cause fatigue, daytime sleep, clumsiness, and increases the risk to have accidents. A women suffering from insomnia develops problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, disrupted circadian rhythms etc.

The risk of accidents also increase and women find difficulty looking after their children. Especially in the case of pregnant women, insomnia can affect the health of unborn baby. Heart disease, stroke and obesity are also more common effects in women as compared to men.

Tips For Managing Pregnancy Insomnia

The remedies that help with pregnancy related insomnia include drinking less water before bedtime. During the pregnancy, the bladder cannot carry a lot of water due to the pressure and weight of the fetus. Drinking less water at night reduces the strain and leads to less urination. This promotes better quality of sleep and avoids insomnia.

Yoga helps to relax and ease the pregnancy discomfort. Prenatal yoga classes help. Exercise and daily walk is also important as it releases the ‘feel good’ hormones in the body. This induces better sleep at night. The reduction in caffeine intake can help promote better sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant that can lead to insomnia during the pregnancy. During pregnancy, alcohol should be abstained, as it is harmful for the baby and can cause disrupted circadian rhythms.

In order to avoid insomnia, a healthy balanced diet is preferable. To avoid leg cramps and swollen feet, adequate amount of vitamins, folic acid and magnesium is required. This promotes a better quality of sleep.

A hot shower before bedtime also helps the body relax. It also reduces body aches and cramps, that helps avoid insomnia. The use of pillows to adjust the comfort of the body can be beneficial. Using pillows to support the baby bump can help to relax and have a better quality of sleep.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can also be beneficial. This therapy focuses on the improvement of the elements that disrupt sleep. This therapy can help develop better sleeping habits and reduce insomnia. The reduction in use of electronic devices also helps as they trigger the brain to stay alert.

Pregnant women should try to relax before sleeping by taking a hot shower and enjoying a cup of tea. Herbal tea is also beneficial to help relax and have a comfortable sleeping experience. Regular body massage helps to ease the pain and discomfort. Getting regular body massages can help reduce insomnia.

Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine can also help pregnancy related insomnia. This method helps to balance the body that causes relaxation. The last tip to deal with pregnancy related insomnia is not to worry about the condition. Many women stress the fact that they are pregnant. Women should relax and take a good sleep in order to improve the health of the baby.

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