Why are women twice as likely to have insomnia and what can be done about it? Writer Emma Loewe posed the question in a recent MBG Health Article. One common culprit is the “racing mind” which can build until you’re “awake and alert” as ever.
“Wendy M. Troxel, PhD, a clinical psychologist and certified behavioral sleep medicine specialist, hears stories like this all the time,” writes Loewe. “She says that the majority of her patients who struggle with insomnia symptoms are women with male partners, for whom sleep seems to come easy. Her experience tracks with what research has found about sleep’s gender disparities: Studies from Korea to Latin America have come to the same conclusion: Women are almost twice as likely to have sleep issues as men.”
Why do women have more problems? Experts cite cultural factors (primarily caregiving roles), hormonal components, and/or uncomfortable physical symptoms of menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. “If the issue is more difficult to pinpoint—maybe it’s something amorphous, like stress—consider where you can clean up your overall sleep habits,” Loewe concludes. “ Stick to a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, turn off your tech one to two hours before bed, optimize your bedroom for sleep, and/or try a sleep-promoting supplement.”