Study Shows Women Suffer Insomnia At Higher Rates Than Men
In a comprehensive study that looked at sleep patterns and disturbances in America, it was revealed that while a high number of 51 percent of men suffer from weekly insomnia, women top out those numbers at a depressing 57 percent.
These findings aren’t terribly surprising when you consider hormonal factors that play into insomnia, as well as anxiety (which affects women at higher rates), depression, and restless leg syndrome (a condition that affects women twice as much as men). When you compact all the factors that play into insomnia and link them to the gendered rates at which they’re experience this study makes complete sense.
Menstrual cramps and pregnancy both highly deter a consistent sleep schedule, both hormonally and emotionally interrupting the brain’s ability to settle down. The specific ways in which releases of progesterone and estrogen regulate and affect the brain’s circadian rhythm are still to be determined, but women’s hormonal cycles are a constant factor in affecting sleep-issues across the board, with many women losing sleep during the end of their monthly cycle, and pregnant women having increased sleep difficulties particularly during the first and third trimesters.
Even those on birth control aren’t immune to hormonally charged sleep issues, there have been many cases in which the hormonal transition to contraceptives causes it’s own sleep issues — likely both affected by the internal affects of birth control, and the emotional stress involved in bearing the responsibility of birth control.
Studies on parental sleep patterns also reveal that stay-at-home mothers have high rates of insomnia, with as many as 74 percent of stay-at-home moms reporting consistent bouts of insomnia. The physical changes associated with menopause have also consistently shown themselves as a sleep deterring factor.
Considering these findings all address physical conditions that apply exclusively to women–without including the breakdown of depression, anxiety, and fibromyalgia, and how those affect insomnia in both genders, with fibromyalgia and anxiety reported at higher rates in women–it’s almost surprising women don’t experience insomnia at even higher national rates than they already do.
Honestly, after reading these findings I feel like a goddamn champion for wrangling myself to sleep as much as I do. With this knowledge in mind, the next time you find yourself tossing and turning, I encourage you to go ahead and brew yourself a hot cup of tea and pat yourself on the back for all the times you’ve successfully wrestled your sadistic hormones into submission.