Women and Sleep: A Guide for Better Health


Published 11/30/17
Women Sleep Guide 2017

Though sleep is essential to health and wellbeing, the unique barriers faced by women in maintaining good sleep health are often misunderstood or overlooked.

Many biological, social, and environmental factors influence sleep, vary across the lifespan, and are impacted by sex and/or gender. The distinct social and environmental experiences of women and men likely contribute to sleep differences. Therefore, women and men may have the same sleep problems, but present with different symptoms creating a need for unique screening, diagnosis, and treatments for both women and men.

“Women & Sleep: A Guide for Better Health” was developed by SWHR’s Interdisciplinary Network on Sleep to provide an evidence-based overview of key sleep challenges women face, including:

  • Sleep issues across the lifespan, from puberty and pregnancy to menopause and older age
  • Types of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, hypersomnia, shift work sleep-wake disorder, and parasomnias
  • Impact of sleep disorders on health and well-being, such as heart disease, diabetes, mental health, cancer, pain, and cognitive decline

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