Studies show that women are more commonly susceptible to sleep disorders as compared to men. Hormonal imbalance is the chief factor that causes sleep disorders in women. Other than that are psychosocial and emotional factors such as stress, illness, unhealthy lifestyle, and uncomfortable sleeping environment.
Pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome and menopausal stages are inevitable experiences all women have to go through and these are reasons enough why experts agree that every woman would get any kind of sleep disorder at least once in her life.
Amongst all known sleep disorders, insomnia is said to be the most prevalent especially in young adults who are experiencing bouts of premenstrual syndrome. Insomnia is a sleeping disturbance characterized by the inability to fall asleep and sustain it, waking up earlier than what the body needs, and the difficulty to go back to sleep once already awakened.
Aside from the fluctuation of hormonal levels during PMS, another thing that causes insomnia is anxiety, or worse, depression. Maintaining good sleeping habits and a well-balanced lifestyle is the key to prevent and cure insomnia. For worse case scenarios, therapeutic programs are usually prescribed.
The dangers of insomnia are no comparison to what sleep apnea can cause women. Sleep apnea, also known as sleep-disordered breathing, is another sleep problem demonstrated by cessation of breathing during sleep. As compared to insomnia and all other known sleep disorders in women, sleep apnea is life-threatening.
What happens here is that the brain fails to send signals to the respiratory system for it to continue breathing even when asleep. One symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. This shows that there is an obstruction in the person’s respiratory tract that needs to be cleared. Surgery is the usual treatment to chronic cases of sleep apnea.
To avoid worsening such illness, therapists would also prescribe behavioral and natural methods a patient needs to follow. Pregnant women are usually prone to sleep apnea due to the swelling of nasal passages during pregnancy. Women older than 50 years old are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea which cause them disrupted sleep and daytime drowsiness.
Same symptoms are the effects of restless leg syndrome (RLS). Up to now, experts are yet to find out what exactly causes RLS. This one is characterized by unexplained discomfort in the legs which can only be relieved by moving it. Such constant and intolerable urge to move the legs leads to sleeplessness.
This, however, does not only happen during bedtime. Some women also experience the same thing during the day. There are therapeutic techniques devised by sleep experts to alleviate such restlessness.
Sometimes iron food supplements and electrical stimulations are being prescribed. Also, women who experience mild RLS can try sleeping on their side with pillows placed in between their legs. For others, massage is the only thing that can induce sleep. To prevent RLS, most doctors advice maintaining regular leg exercises in addition to other workouts.
Exercise also prevents narcolepsy – another one among the usual sleep disorders in women that mar the task of the central nervous system to regulate sleeping patterns. Symptoms of narcolepsy include hallucination both during bedtime and daytime, excessive drowsiness and sleep attacks, and lack of muscle control especially when preceded by emotional circumstances. Worst cases lead to sleep paralysis and chronic sleeping disorders that can be treated by medication and behavioral therapies.
Most sleep disorders, however, can be prevented and relieved by natural methods that would not cost a lot of your time and your hard-earned money. If you are diagnosed with any of the abovementioned sleep disorders in women, you can ask your doctor if you can subscribe to a behavioral therapy program instead of risky medications. Remember that the safest way remains to be the natural way.