You may know women have different levels of progesterone and estrogen than men and these levels tend to fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle. According to doctors, fluctuations in the level of hormones may cause trouble in falling or staying asleep. Estrogen hormone is believed to have impact on different neurotransmitter pathways that regulates the sleep. Shifts in the levels of hormones may affect the circadian rhythm, a physical, mental and behavioral change that follows a roughly 24-hour cycle. However, the timing and severity may vary from woman to woman. Also, the experts are yet to find how these fluctuations affect the sleep patterns but they are sure they play a crucial role.
In addition to those hormonal shifts, what keeps many women up at night is side effects of menstrual cycle. Periods can be quite annoying as they cause bloating, cramping, breast tenderness, mood and anxiety changes making it harder for women to sleep.
Pregnancy is another reason why some women find their sleep suffering because they go through a lot of physical discomfort. Experts believe that women are more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and restless-leg syndrome while gestating due to changes in hormones and low iron counts. So, what happens in sleep apnea? Well, your airways become clogged causing pauses in breathing that might wake you up from sleep. The most common symptom of OSA is loud snoring. Most women get OSA as a result of hormonal changes during pregnancy, leading to inflammation in the airways. Also the tendency of frequent urination in last trimester of pregnancy is a reason to blame sleep trouble.
Yes, you can blame anxiety and depression if you are not getting ample sleep. It has been found that stress-related insomnia affects more women than men regardless the age. So, if you suspect you have depression or anxiety, you should get it treated to prevent it from obstructing your sleep.
So, now that your kids have all grown up and are working in a MNC, you think you can nap all you want and when you want, right? It may not be as easy as it may seem, especially; if you are approaching menopause because the dreaded night sweats and hot flashes can make you uncomfortable thereby leading to obstructive sleep apnea. Image Source: Getty
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