Dr. Brazinsky shares what sleep disorders are most common in women.
Insomnia clearly is the most common complaint of women and there are a couple of different symptoms of insomnia. The first would be having difficulty starting sleep, difficulty initiating sleep. So, a person gets into bed and they sit there and their thoughts run and they look at the ceiling and they count sheet and they just can’t get to sleep.
The second problem is early morning awakening and you see this more in elderly people and in depressed people. When they go to bed they get to sleep and a few hours later they’re awake and they just can’t get back to sleep and you may set your alarm clock for 6:30 and at 4:00 a.m., you’re awake and sitting there going crazy because you’re tired and you can’t get back to sleep.
And then the third type of insomnia is waking up in the middle of the night and having difficulty maintaining sleep. So you’ll sleep and you’ll awake and you’ll look at the clock and you’ll fall back asleep and you do that all night, and in that case it may not actually be insomnia, it may be other problems, there maybe medical problems, people who have to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
So, in men, it’s prostate cancer or prostatic hypertrophy and in women it’s diuretic therapy and things that will get them up to go to bathroom in the middle of the night, cystitis, anything that get them up in the middle of the night to pee. And then other medical problems, arthritis, pain, anything that makes you uncomfortable during the night, that makes it so you just can’t stay asleep, restless legs will do that or periodic leg movements of sleep and sleep apnea can all wake up in the middle of the night and you’ll not realize that’s what the cause is.
About Dr. Shari Brazinsky, M.D.:
Dr. Shari Anne Brazinsky is a pulmonary critical care physician at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego, California as a member of the Pulmonary Medicine and Infectious Disease Medical Group. She was named one of San Diego’s 2008 top pulmonary disease doctors for the third time by San Diego Magazine.