The fact is women do take longer to go to sleep and they also tend to talk more about feeling sleepy. Plus women do have a higher risk of suffering from insomnia. It is also a fact that women when compared to men tend to spend more time in a deeper sleep. Though there is some realization that each gender has differences in the way they sleep and this in turn has some effect in the treatment of the sleep problems, this research is not that much in depth.
Actually according to a study, it has been proven that much of the research that has gone into sleep studies tends to veer more towards sleep apnea. This happens to be a problem that men face more often. Apparently when it comes to research related to women, apparently not much movement can be seen there.
Keeping in mind that some interest in this area along with a thrust for this kind of study needs to come about some of the scientific minds like Mallampalli, Christine Slater SWHR vice president of scientific affairs have put together a roundtable discussion with others from this area of specialization. This included people from Harvard Medical School, Stanford University etc. Conclusions of the differences in way women sleep when compared to men was presented for future publication in the Journal for Women’s Health.
It has been vouched for by women that they experience sleepless during Premenstrual period or during the period. This has thrown light on the fact that hormones and the changes in them can have cause sleep disturbance in women. Women tend to have an increased risk of problems related to insomnia right when they start menstruating and during the onset of menopause. Another thing that happens is the restless legs syndrome in women who are pregnant than people of either gender without children. Though the direct relationship between sleep and hormones is yet to be fully explored, this has become a much researched and talked about topic at the moment.
According to Mallampalli, the important issue that came out from the meetings is that many a times, the data with regard to sleep is not supporting the compliant numbers. More and more women are talking about problems related to sleep with their healthcare providers, but general tests are not showing what the problem is. Apparently this does not happen with men and the conclusion that they do not have the right tools to treat women related problems in this area. And it could also be the case that the tests being run and the questions asked to women are not related as most of them have been put together keeping men in mind.
This is proven by the fact that men have complaints about snorting, snoring or waking up grasping for breath, while women are more likely to talk about depression, fatigue and sleep that is not refreshing.
According to one of the researches, the need for tests and technology specific to genders based on their sleep related problems need to be developed. The general tests and techniques available now may not cover the problem as it has made no provision for the differences in the problems faced by different genders. The key to solving sleep problems based on the gender of the person who is going through them is to first of all recognize them and then put together ways to delve into them.
It has been seen that healthcare providers do not have that much insight into the differences of the sleep related problems that each sex tends to have.