Contributed by Healthians Team

What is insomnia? 

Insomnia refers to a disease in which you experience trouble while sleeping. The disease can be acute or chronic. If it is acute, it lasts from 1 night to a few weeks or if it is chronic, it happens at least 3 nights a week to 3 months. There are 2 types of insomnia – primary and secondary. In primary insomnia, your sleep disorder is not related to any health condition while in secondary insomnia, your sleep disorder is caused by various health conditions. 

Why more women have insomnia than men? 

Generally, insomnia has been found to be more prevalent in women than men. As per numerous studies, a higher rate of insomnia has been found in women than men. Even though women face insomnia differently than men the actual reason why insomnia is more common in women than men is still unknown.

Researchers suggest that it may happen due to the differences in gender, sex, and independent actors. Sex-based differences include hormone production and circadian rhythms between men and women. Gender-based differences include social and cultural differences that influence sleep. Independent factors such as mental health, relationships, children, neurological problems, medications, and physical illnesses can be some other reasons why insomnia affects women.  

Health conditions that cause insomnia

Here we have discussed various conditions that cause insomnia in women:


It is common to have sleeping problems during pregnancy. Sleeping difficulties are associated with hormonal changes and extensive physical changes during pregnancy. Pregnant women may experience restless leg syndrome and breathing problems including sleep apnea. Sleeping problems may continue after childbirth due to regular feeding to infants, postpartum depression, hormonal shifts, physical and emotional adjustments.


The menstrual cycle is affected by the shifts in hormone production. Increasing and decreasing levels of estrogen and progesterone can induce emotional and physical changes in women and these changes affect every woman differently. Rise and fall in the levels of these hormones can cause sleep disruptions in women. Insomnia is a common symptom whenever a woman undergoes premenstrual syndrome. 

Mental health disorders

Sleeping disorder is associated with the mental health of women. Women are more likely to suffer depression, stress, and anxiety than men. More women have been found suffering from depression than men and sleeping too much or too little is a symptom of sleeping disorder. There is no single explanation why women suffer more mental health issues rather than men. Inequalities, social and cultural differences are the reasons that contribute to the stress, anxiety, and depression found in women. 

Urinary problems

Frequent urination at night causes sleep disruption. Women are more likely to experience urinary incontinence rather than men. Other reasons causing sleep disorder include overactive bladder, anxiety, diabetes, enlargement of the prostate, kidney infection, and bladder prolapse. 

Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is considered a serious sleep disorder. In sleep apnea, throat muscles relax and block the nasal passage during sleep. A common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. Sleep apnea causes excessive daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, morning headache, high blood pressure, morning headache, and sore throat. And any or all these symptoms can cause insomnia to occur in women.

Restless legs syndrome

Women who experience restless legs syndrome experience discomfort in the legs after going to bed. It can lead to insomnia. RLS also leads to mental or physical problems in women. It can be the effect of certain medications. RLS is categorized as either primary or secondary. Aching, burning, crawling, creeping, itching, tingling, and electric shock sensation can be the major symptoms of RLS. 


Parasomnia is a sleep disorder that causes abnormal behavior while sleeping. The disorder can happen at any stage of life. People who experience insomnia move around, talk and do unusual things while sleeping. Other people may think that you are awake but you are actually unconscious. It makes it difficult to get restful sleep. Teeth grinding, confusional arousal, bedwetting, night terrors, nightmares, sleep-related groaning, sleep talking, and sleepwalking is some causes of parasomnia sleep disorder.

Treatment response

Another factor that causes insomnia in women is the response to certain medications. Generally, men and women respond to medications differently. Studies of sleep-promoting prescriptions have shown that women who took the drugs affected sleep of women longer than men. It also usually caused morning drowsiness and sleepy eyes in the daytime. 

The bottom Line

Women experience lots of physiological and psychological changes in their lives that may contribute to sleeping disorders. Insomnia is a symptom causing so many problems in women’s life. If women should start taking care of themselves to avoid insomnia. A proper health checkup can be helpful to manage health. We have an excellent article on the top 10 self-care habits of happy women. We hope you find the article helpful for yourself. 

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