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Gender Differences in Sleep

October 24, 2013 - October 25, 2013

Woman sleeping

Looking for the latest on sex differences in sleep health? Check out SWHR’s Narcolepsy Toolkit to learn more about how different sleep conditions appear in women and tips for maintain sleep health across the lifespan. 

Healthy sleep can be especially elusive for women, and the barriers that they face in maintaining good sleep health are often misunderstood or overlooked. In October 2013, SWHR convened an interdisciplinary scientific roundtable focused on understanding the role of sex and gender differences in sleep and the state of women’s sleep health research. The roundtable included 15 well-established sleep researchers and clinicians from diverse backgrounds, and SWHR summarized the expert discussions in this peer-reviewed report, Exploring Sex and Gender Differences in Sleep Health, published in July 2014 in the Journal of Women’s Health. This roundtable laid the foundation for SWHR’s Sleep Network and its resource Women & Sleep: A Guide for Better Health.


October 24, 2013
October 25, 2013
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  • Identify the underlying nature of sex and gender differences in sleep research
  • Identify basic and clinical research along with a focus on specific challenges facing women with sleep-related problems and effective therapies
  • Identify research gaps in the areas of epidemiology, sleep regulation, sleep quality, diagnosis and treatment

Roundtable Participants

  • Sonia Ancoli-Israel, PhD, University of California San Diego School of Medicine
  • Roseanne Armitage, Ph.D., University of Michigan
  • Hrayr Attarian, MD,  Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Fiona Baker, PhD, Human Sleep Research Laboratory
  • Nancy Collop, MD, Emory University
  • Helene Emsellem, MD, Center-Sleep-Wake Disorders
  • Ronald Farkas, MD, PhD, Division of Neurology Product at the FDA
  • Meir Kryger, MD, FRCPC, Yale School of Medicine
  • Kathryn Lee, RN, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
  • Maurice Ohayon, MD, PhD, Stanford School of Medicine
  • Susan Redline, MD, MPH, Harvard Medical School
  • Thomas Roth, PhD, Henry Ford Hospital
  • Michael Twery, PhD, National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR) in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) Division of Lung Diseases at the NIH
  • Joyce Walselben, PhD, New York University, Langone Medical Center
  • Phyllis Zee, MD, PhD, Northwestern University