Insomnia among women – facts, diagnostics and treatments

Insomnia is a common disorder that affects the sleep pattern of any individual. It is not gender exclusive, so it’s found in men as well as women although its chances of occurrence increases with age; however, more and more of this is being reported among women due to several factors that have been discussed below. So, ever feel that you’re getting poor sleep or no sleep at all? Refer to the facts below and you might know the truth.

Insomnia in detail

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects those areas of the brain that put a person to sleep. What ends up is disturbance in certain hormones that put you to sleep thus putting your health at risk. Insomnia among women has been reported to be more common due to several factors like menopause, stress or even depression, details listed down below.

Insomnia is also categorized as primary insomnia and secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia is an all-out disorder in the sense that it has no direct cause or medical condition, as secondary insomnia. It can however be triggered due to following factors:
• Long travel hours.
• Shifting work hours.
• Certain stressful events.
• Any other factor that disturbs normal bed time.

On the contrary, secondary insomnia among women occurs due to certain medical conditions like:
• Anxiety disorders.
• Chronic pains like arthritis and migraines.
• Apnea, restless leg syndrome that are sleep disorders.
• Menopause.
• Stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
• Excessive substance abuses of alcohol caffeine and tobacco.
• Also caused by poor sleep environments.

Why are women more prone to insomnia?

More and more women are being reported to be suffering from insomnia due to several endogenous factors like:
• Menopause, that affects normal sleep pattern due to hormonal changes.
• Pregnancy resulting in sweating, cramps and trouble falling asleep.
• Medical conditions like anxiety and migraines have more effect on women.

Diagnosing insomnia

There are no fixed procedures for spotting insomnia as it’s done for other diseases through tests, however, its recommended to visit a doctor as he/she may ask for certain information like sleep history, sleep routine or even talk to your bed partner. Referring to a sleep specialist or center will also help.

Treating insomnia

There are several medications and cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) for insomnia.
• Stimulus control.
• Biofeedback.
• Cognitive therapy and control.
• Relaxation control.
• Prescribing oral sleep medicines like Ativan, Lorazepam, Ambien and Doxepin.

Self treatments

Insomnia is a general disorder that can have some health consequences. There are several ways to independently combat it too:
• Keep sleep environment silent and dark. Make sure there is no noise.
• Making sure sleep timings are maintained.
• Ensure that it’s not too late to go to sleep.
• Physical activity boosts sleep and makes it normal.
• Totally avoid caffeine, alcohol or drugs late at night.
• Follow a relaxing routine like reading a book or listening to relaxing music before going to sleep.

Women's Health Info