Battle of the Sexes: Why Women Suffer From Insomnia More than Men

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, insomnia is more common in women than men due to a number of unpreventable factors.

Experts found that hormones, periods, anxiety and stress are the primary causes for female insomnia, The Cut reports.

So ladies, the next time you find yourself tossing and turning as you try to sleep, just remember that there are a number of scientific reasons why you’re having a restless night and don’t blame it on your blanket-stealing boyfriend.

Women and men have different levels of estrogen and progesterone, which fluctuate throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle. These hormonal shifts can cause a woman to have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.

According to Dianne Augelli, M.D., a sleep expert at the Weill Cornell Center for Sleep Medicine, “Fluctuations in these hormones may have an effect on the circadian rhythm.”  The timing and severity can be different from woman to woman, and experts don’t fully understand how these hormone shifts disrupt sleep but they believe they play an important role, she says.

A woman’s time of the month is also a contributing factor to a bad night’s sleep. While a woman’s hormones are already raging and keeping her up, bloating, cramping, breast tenderness and mood and anxiety changes can also make it harder to stay asleep.

While its not uncommon to spend your night mentally ticking things off your to-do list or worrying about an upcoming meeting, you need to worry just the right amount, as stressing can lead to over-stressing, working as a snowball effect.

Being pregnant can also add to a lack of sleep. Yes, exhaustion and discomfort are obvious reasons for a lack of sleep, but pregnant women are more likely suffer from a restless sleep for a number of reasons.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a main factor that takes place when “the airway becomes blocked or collapses, which can lead to pauses in breathing that might wake you up. Loud snoring is a hallmark symptom of OSA, but women don’t always present with snoring,” Dr. Augelli says.

Restless-leg syndrome is also another contributing factor to a pregnant woman’s lack of sleep, which is when a woman experiences a nighttime throbbing sensation and urge to move her limbs.

Menopause, children, sleeping with a partner and bad sleep hygiene are also not ideal for a decent sleep.

Dr. Augelli suggests to combat a bad night’s sleep you should try going to bed at the same time nightly, keeping the room dark and cool, not using one of your many devices before bed, and exercising – but not too close to bedtime.