HOW DOES BEING A WOMEN AFFECT MY SLEEP?
Everyone sleeps, but women face unique sleep considerations. As a woman, you may be more at risk for certain sleep problems or have different symptoms of sleep disorders than men. At different times in your life, you may have different sleep issues.
MENSTRUAL CYCLE: Women may have sleep problems right before or during menstruation. Restless legs syndrome is more common during that time, or women may have difficulty sleeping due to pain.
PREGNANCY: Many women experience changes in their sleep patterns while pregnant.In the first trimester, you may find that you need to sleep more. Tiredness can also be a sign of low iron due to pregnancy. In the third trimester, you may have trouble falling or staying asleep due to discomfort from the growing baby. Pregnant women are also more at risk for sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.
How can I sleep better if I’m pregnant or a new mother?
- Try to get at least 8 hours in bed each night
- Allow yourself a 45 minute to 1-hour nap during the day if needed. Try to nap when your baby is napping.
MENOPAUSE: During and after nemopause many women experience difficulties sleeping. Changes in your hormones can make it harder for you to sleep through the night. These hormonal changes also increase your risk for obstructive sleep apnea.
WOMEN AND SLEEP DISORDERS
OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA: Obstructive sleep Apnea, or OSA is a common sleep disorder. If you have OSA, it means that your airway collapses part or all of the way while you are sleeping. There is growing awareness that OSA affects women.You may be at an increased risk for OSA if you:
- Are overweight
- Have polycystatic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Symptoms of OSA include:
- Loud or frequent snoring
- Daytime sleepiness or tiredness
- Choking or gasping while you sleep.
In addition to these symptoms, there are specific signs that are more common in women that can indicate OSA.
- Feeling like you don’t have any energy during the day
- Having a headache when you wake up in the morning
- Feeling depressed
- Having trouble falling asleep