Why Do Middle Aged Women Have Sleep Problems?

A new sleep study tells us that over 25% of middle-aged women have sleep problems. The study also suggests that sleep problems are tied to poor quality of life, chronic illness and excessive medication use? Help for Hot Flashes The new study adds to earlier research by looking at common sleep problems among women before they hit menopause. Typically we think sleep issues are because of menopause that that isn't always the reason. During menopause, hot flashes and night sweats do increase sleep problems and may be the most common cause for sleep disturbances but night sweats are definitely not the only reason for middle aged women to have trouble sleeping.

Sleep troubles are not new for people of any age, but they do seem to be a bit more common among women. Hormonal changes related to menstrual cycles or menopause may be partly to blame. Another reason for sleeplessness could be stress, thyroid issues, diabetes and obesity. Researchers found that occasional alcohol drinking was tied to better sleep quality and less falling asleep at work. i All sleep problems can affect daytime tiredness, work performance and quality of life.

Women tend to get about seven hours of sleep each night during the week, but sleep needs are unique to individuals, researchers discovered. Sleep is so crucial, since we sleep one third of our life and it affects so much of our health. Sleep problems can be a symptom of a disease or mental state, which doctors should keep in mind. Women having sleep problems should talk to their doctor and be sure to note any potential sleep-related side effects of medications, researchers said.

A good start is to keep a sleep diary and note any patterns or symptoms such as snoring, restlessness, morning headache. If there is concern ask your family physician for a referral to a sleep center for an assessment by a qualified sleep specialist.