Men lose weight faster and easier than women, they don’t ever have to experience pregnancy hormones, the pain of childbirth or the craziness of menopause, and they need less sleep than women do. As if these statements aren’t enough, scientists also know that women are far more likely to suffer from insomnia than men.
In fact, when it comes to sleep disorders and disturbances, women beat men in every category except one – sleep apnea. At least we don’t have to sleep with a loud machine strapped to us, but at this point, there are a lot of women out there who would gladly put up with a sleep apnea machine if it meant they could sleep!
So why are women not sleeping? There can be many causes of insomnia, and some are specific to women. Here are some of the main causes of insomnia in women and what you can do to combat them and get some shut-eye:
Hormones Are One of the Causes of Insomnia in Women
Your monthly cycle, perimenopause and menopause can all cause sleep disturbances and leave you tossing and turning. Not to mention the night sweats! Sometimes the hormones that show up during your period can make you feel more emotional or sensitive than usual and this can keep you awake at night as well.
What to do: Talk to your doctor about your options for treatment during menopause. It could be a long time before sleep stops evading you and for some, it lasts for many years. If it’s period symptoms that keep you from sleeping well, try taking ibuprofen before bed, sleeping with a fan or applying a hot water bottle if you’re experiencing cramps.
Being A Light Sleeper Doesn’t Help Insomnia
There’s nothing worse than being woken up in the night and not being able to get back to sleep. Women know this feeling more than anyone because they are typically lighter sleepers than men. Whether its the kids, the dog, the snoring husband or the sounds of traffic outside, women tend to wake up to anything. This does not help when battling insomnia.
What to do: Unless you have small children, try wearing ear plug at night to block out sounds. If you can’t stand sleeping with ear plugs, you can also try putting a loud fan on or turning on a white noise machine. These types of sounds usually help people to focus in on them instead of other sounds (like your partner’s snoring) and will help you to sleep. If you have reallu good hearing, you may want to get the loudest fan you can find!
Pregnancy Can Cause Insomnia
The closer you get into your pregnancy, the harder it is to fall asleep and stay asleep. It’s almost like your body is preparing you for the first few months of your baby’s life when sleep will be but a distant memory! Pregant women are tired and need sleep though, and not being able to get comfortable at night is very frustrating. (Especially when you can’t drink a pot of coffee in the morning.)
What to do: The more pregnant you become, the harder it will be, but you can still try! Get another pillow or two so you can put one under your belly and behind your back for added support if you need it. If you have room, you can also try investing in a larger bed, because you will be grateful for the extra space as the baby continues to grow. You may also benefit from a fan at night when hot flashes start kicking in. These tips may or may not continue to work as you grow, so if you ever have the opporunity to nap, always, always take it, because you never know what the next night will bring with it!
Your Lifestyle May be the Culprit
“A woman’s job is never done.” This cliche is all too true for so many women. Between your, kids, work, spouse and home, the day always seems to end with a list of things you haven’t been able to get to. While men seem to be able to forget about a to-do list, and drift off easily at night, women have a much harder time going to sleep with things left undone. When you are this busy, it is extra hard for your brain to relax at night and allow sleep to take over. When you lay your head on your pillow at night, your mind should not be going a hundred miles an hour!
What to do: Keep bedtime sacred and start winding down for the night at least an hour before you’d like to be asleep. If there are things on your mind, write them down before you get in bed. This signals your brain that it will be taken care of and it might actually let you sleep for a change!