Current Treatment Options in Neurology

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 319–330 | Cite as

Sleep problems across the life cycle in women

  • Margaret Moline
  • Lauren Broch
  • Rochelle Zak

Opinion statement

Across the life cycle of women, the quality and quantity of sleep can be markedly impacted by internal (eg, hormonal changes and vasomotor symptoms) and external (financial and child-care responsibilities; marital issue) factors. This paper will outline some of the major phases of the life cycle in women that have been associated with sleep problems. The main messages from this paper include 1) that very little systematic, large-scale research has been performed in virtually every area reviewed; and 2) once identified, the sleep problem is generally best addressed by the standard therapeutic approach, except in the case of pregnant and lactating women in which concern for the fetus and child must be considered in the treatment decision. This paper is organized into sections that address sleep problems associated with the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, postpartum, and perimenopause. Anecdotal reports recommend treatment that addresses the specific physical discomfort experienced by the woman (eg, analgesics for premenstrual pain, pregnancy pillows for backache, and hormone replacement therapy for hot flashes). The importance of developing standard treatment recommendations is stressed because the development of chronic insomnia has been linked to precipitating events. In addition, primary sleep disorders (eg, sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome) have been shown to increase during pregnancy and menopause, but treatment recommendations may be contraindicated or are not specific for women.


Menstrual Cycle Sleep Disorder Sleep Problem Sleep Disruption Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret Moline
    • 1
  • Lauren Broch
  • Rochelle Zak
  1. 1.Eisai IncorporatedGlenpointe Centre WestTeaneckUSA

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