This information has been reviewed and approved by Sheila Tsai, MD (February 2023).
Women & Sleep Disorders Summary:
Sleep is important to health and well-being, and yet only half of all women get a good night's sleep. So, what causes this problem, and how can women improve their sleep?
Could you have a sleep disorder?
Common symptoms of a sleep disorder include: trouble falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, restless sleep, and extreme daytime sleepiness. It may help to keep a record of your sleep habits, and when and how much you sleep. Talk with your doctor or sleep specialist. If you or your partner snore, ask a doctor about possible sleep issues.
Are you experiencing body changes that affect your sleep?
If you are pregnant, limit liquids to prevent waking up at night to use the restroom, avoid foods that cause heartburn, try extra pillows for comfort, use compression socks for leg swelling and practice relaxation tips. Restless legs symptoms are also more common during pregnancy.
If you have hot flashes, cooling the bedroom may help. Also, consider talking to your primary care provider about possible treatments for hot flashes.
Weight gain and inactivity can contribute sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.
Do you have good sleep habits?
Staying on the same schedule and keeping consistent sleep times help your body expect sleep.
Avoid caffeinated drinks and nicotine products in the afternoon as they can interfere with good sleep.
Avoid stimulating activities before bedtime like exercise, computers, phones and TVs.
Create a sleep-inducing environment with a cool, dark, quiet bedroom. Earplugs, a fan or sound machine can help mask outside noise.
Manage anxiousness by writing down what's on your mind. Reviewing your weekly schedule and planning ahead can remove anxiety.
There are many treatable health issues that can affect your sleep. If these tips do not improve your sleep, talk with your doctor or a sleep specialist for help.