If you are facing difficulty in the night with sleep, tossing around, turning around, rolling over on your stomach, not able to fall asleep, not feeling relaxed, you are in the grips of insomnia.
Several factors may cause insomnia in women. Younger women generally have better sleep as compared to older women.
Whether you’re a housewife or a working woman, from career to kids, to social and family events, life comes first and sleep comes last. Women are twice as likely as men to have difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep.
Insomnia or sleeplessness may keep you awake for a night or two as you struggle with problems at work or home. Every woman will experience the problem of insomnia at some point in her life. Insomnia is not about the difficulty in sleeping but it can also make you get up early in the morning.
What are the causes of Insomnia in Women?
Many factors can cause sleeplessness in women. Some of these causes include:
In women, there are many events of hormonal changes that can disturb sleep. These events are premenstrual syndrome, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. All these conditions are temporary and sleeplessness or insomnia caused due to these reasons can be eliminated with proper sleep hygiene.
- During Menstruation. The hormones called estrogen keeps you alert and progesterone makes you sleepy. The levels of progesterone decrease during menstruation, causing insomnia. When the level of progesterone rises during ovulation, you may feel sleepy than usual. During menstruation period, the hormone levels are at their lowest. More than 70% of women complain of sleep problems during menstruation period. The quality of sleep varies at different points in your menstrual cycle. Insomnia is a regular, recurring problem for some women once a month, just before the menstrual period starts. Premenstrual syndrome is also a big reason for insomnia in women.
- During Pregnancy. The changes in the levels of progesterone in the first and last trimester of pregnancy can disrupt the normal sleep cycle.
- Menopause. During the first phases of menopause, hormones are fluctuating intensely. You may experience hot flashes, a sense of anxiety, sweating during this period and may experience wakefulness at night. Psychologic distress caused by these changes in life can result in insomnia in women. Fluctuations in female hormones play a major role in insomnia in women over their lifetimes. This insomnia is usually temporary.
After the birth of a baby
For a long period of time after delivery, most women remain highly sensitive to even the smallest noises produced by the infant, which causes them to wake easily. Women who have had children sleep less efficiently or deeply than women who have not had children. Most women follow this pattern of high sensitivity long after the children have grown.
Women are more prone to Depression and Anxiety
Women are at higher risk than men are for depression and anxiety, which are known risk factors for insomnia. Some researchers believe that this is the main reason for the gender differences in insomnia. The reason for this higher risk may be the social setup and conditions of a society. If you’re a single working woman, you will spend the least amount of time in bed. The pressures and worries at the office and home may lead to insomnia.
Insomnia and Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle can also affect your sleep pattern. If you are spending too much time on socializing with your friends instead of going to bed at the right time than that could be the primary reason for your sleeplessness or insomnia.
Housewives or stay-at-moms may also experience problems with sleeping. The reasons could be kids or the dog disturbing at night. Another reason could be a lack of leisure activities in the evening hours. If you are spending your evening mostly on kids and other activities at home, that could lead to sleep problems or insomnia.
Working women, married and having school-aged children are at higher risk of problems related to sleep. Overloaded with work and family obligations, you may have little time to exercise, relax or spend your time on leisure and recreation activities.
Modern lifestyles are a major cause of insomnia in women these days.
Solution for Insomnia in Women
The most important thing you can do to improve your sleep is by making sleep a priority.
Keep a sleep diary. Keeping a sleep diary can help you in finding the exact cause of insomnia. Keep a diary with you whenever you go to sleep and note down the time you went to bed, the number of times you got up during the night, the first and last day of your period, any symptoms of menstruation. If you find that you are experiencing insomnia on the same day of your menstrual period every month, you can be certain that it is due to the fluctuation in hormones.
Supplement yourself with magnesium. Magnesium has a calming effect on the brain and can help in preventing insomnia. Supplement your body with a good dose of magnesium everyday. Eat magnesium-rich foods like soybeans, almonds, black-eyed peas, and lima beans. Take around 500 milligrams of magnesium everyday. That will help you in curing insomnia.
Keep a Check on your estrogen levels. Estrogen levels usually drop when you are in the mid-thirties or forties. Keep checking your estrogen levels and if your sleep diary hasn’t revealed any other possible causes of insomnia, your doctor should check the FSH levels (follicle-stimulating hormone). The FSH levels are the first indicators of menopause.
Eat foods or fruits rich in estrogens. If your FSH levels indicate a premenopausal state, then add fruits and vegetables to your diet. Eat a lot of apples, carrots, cherries, oats, peas, potatoes, green beans, soybeans, and sprouts, it will increase your estrogen level and prevent insomnia.
Manage Stress. Decrease your stress levels by going out in the evenings and doing some recreational activities during the evening hours. Relax by adopting good relaxation techniques.
Avoid sleeping pills. Avoid taking sleeping pills when you feel sleeplessness. Sleeping pills can have dangerous and harmful side effects. It is highly recommended to go for some natural treatment for insomnia.