Do women suffer from insomnia more than men?
Women are twice more likely to suffer from insomnia than men.
Some of the social factors like being unemployed or divorced increase the risk of insomnia in women.
Pregnancy can also affect on women’s sleep. Also, it tends to increase with age.
Is insomnia a serious sleep Disorder?
Insomnia is not really a serious problem for your health, but it can make you feel exhausted, depressed and irritable. It can also make it hard to concentrate during the day. But it can be due to other factors such as apnea, RLS, PLMD etc. Therefore it becomes a serious problem if untreated.
What are the risk factors for insomnia?
Shift workers are at significant risk for insomnia. Those who work in night also have risk. The other conditions that cause risk are frequent travel, particularly crossing time lines; post-traumatic stress syndrome; brain injuries; and many chronic medical conditions.
The strongest risk factors are psychiatric problems, mainly depression, and physical complaints, such as chronic pain and headaches that have no particular reason. About 90% of people with depression have insomnia.
As people grow older, they mostly suffer from insomnia. Medical conditions that cause pain or nighttime distress are common in the elderly. They include gastrointestinal distress, urination problems, arthritis, and heart conditions.
Neurological diseases in the elderly, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and other forms of dementia, can cause nighttime disorientation, confused wandering, and restlessness. The elderly people are also prone to depression, anxiety which leads to insomnia.
Insomnia is more common in women than men, although men are not protected from it. Sleep efficiency declines equally in men and women as they get older. In women, a number of hormonal events can upset sleep, including premenstrual syndrome, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.
All these conditions are natural, and in most cases the wakefulness associated with them is temporary and can be overcome with sleep hygiene and time. After menopause women are susceptible to the same environmental and biologic causes of insomnia as men are.
When to seek medical advice?
If insomnia has been severely interfering with your daytime functioning for a month or longer, see your doctor to find out what might be the cause of your sleep problem and how it might be cured.
Your family physician may ask you and your bed partner about your sleep habits, any medicine you take, and the amount of caffeine and alcohol you drink.
Other questions may include how long you've been suffering from insomnia, if you have any pain (such as from arthritis), and if you snore while you sleep. Your physician may also ask about incidents or problems in your life that may be disturbing you and making it hard for you to sleep.
What are the complications?
- Insufficient sleep can lead to serious accidents. As many as 100,000 automobile accidents, accounting for 1,500 deaths, are caused by sleepiness while driving.
- Headaches may occur due to the insufficient sleep.
- Insomnia increases the activity of the hormones and pathways in the brain that cause stress, and changes in sleeping patterns have been shown to have significant affects on mood. Ongoing insomnia may be a symptom of stress and depression.
- People with chronic insomnia may have signs of heart strokes that might put them at risk for heart disease.
- Insomnia can affect concentration and memory, and can affect one's capability to perform daily tasks. Some experts report that deep sleep deprivation harm the brain's ability to process information.
How to avoid insomnia?
Insomnia can be avoided by following these tips.
- Do not exercise three to four hours before bed time
- Avoid drinking alcohol before going to sleep
- Do not read or watch television in bed
- Avoid drinks that contain caffeine close to bed time
- Do not engage in stimulating activities just before bed time