Facebook Pixel

Why are women twice as likely to have insomnia than men?

By December 31, 2008 - 5:48pm
Rate This

I have suffered from insomnia since childhood and I just read that women are more than twice as likely as men to have insomnia.

Is there a physical reason for this, or a mental reason, perhaps? Is it hormonal? Does anyone know?

Add a Comment3 Comments

I'm a chronic insomniac, but also a Type A personality with more things going on than hours in a day to do them.

I think we women are natural workaholics and constantly thinking about all the things we have to do.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it, lol!

January 9, 2009 - 5:06pm

I have seen a doctor, and mentioned it several times. Ambien did nothing to help me and I was turned off by the side effects (sleep eating? no thanks!) and reports that it was addictive.

I take an over the counter sleep aid nightly and it does help. So does limiting alcohol and increasing exercise. I can now go a week with seven good hours at night! Then I have times where I get from 90 minutes to four hours a night which makes me feel awful for the entire next day.

But things are improving, somewhat. Thanks for the great links, they're awesome!

January 9, 2009 - 10:54am

GauginFan, I'm sorry to hear about your insomnia as it is such an influencing factor on one's quality of life. And to help answer your question ... yes, it appears that women do suffer more insomnia in men, although I found that the rates vary.

You are definitely not alone in your battle for a good night's sleep. Millions of women suffer from ongoing sleep disorders.

It's believed that insomnia typically occurs in association with hormonal changes such as menopause or just before the onset of a woman's menstrual cycle. Women are more likely to have major depression and anxiety disorders, which are also associated with insomnia.

Other factors that can affect a woman's sleep are:

* Life events
* Illness
* Bad sleep habits
* Medication use

In addition to insomnia, women also have other issues related to sleep such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) which is much more common in postmenopausal women. Estrogen may help women with OSA.

And the American Society of Sleep Medicine says that fibromyalgia -- another condition influencing restful sleep.

"Eighty percent of people with fibromyalgia are women. It peaks between the ages of 50 and 70 years. Widespread pain related to fibromyalgia can make it hard to sleep well. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) and sleep related leg cramps are more common as women age. But this increase is not linked directly to menopause."

You may find the following articles helpful in dealing with your insomnia:

Natural ways to deal with insomnia

Nap pods

Possible solutions for dealing with insomnia

Have you tried establishing bed time rituals to help you relax more such as drinking tea or avoiding violent television shows or video games? Have you ever seen a doctor about your insomnia?

January 1, 2009 - 7:11am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.



Get Email Updates

Insomnia Guide

HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!