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Sex Differences in Insomnia: from Epidemiology and Etiology to Intervention

  • Sex and Gender Issues in Behavioral Health (CN Epperson and L Hantsoo, Section Editors)
  • Published:
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Abstract

Purpose of Review

Insomnia is approximately 1.5 times more common in women than in men. To date, research has advanced our knowledge about why women report significantly more sleep problems than men despite not being reflected in objective sleep measures. Precisely understanding the symptomatology and pathological mechanisms underlying sex differences is important for prevention and providing appropriate interventions.

Recent Findings

Sex differences found in insomnia goes beyond simple explanations and have been proven to be a complicated interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors that play different roles throughout the life span.

Summary

This paper will review sex differences in insomnia based on risk factors, mechanisms, and consequences, as well as treatment response. In addition, we will also discuss treatment recommendations when working with female populations at different stages in the life span that may be more vulnerable to insomnia. Future studies utilizing prospective, longitudinal designs are needed to understand the interactions of various factors that can explain existing sex differences in insomnia.

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Suh, S., Cho, N. & Zhang, J. Sex Differences in Insomnia: from Epidemiology and Etiology to Intervention. Curr Psychiatry Rep 20, 69 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-018-0940-9

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