Women sleep more than men. What is the reason?
There are several reasons. The first, women until menopause have greater sleep needs than men. Some of the female hormones, such as progesterone, are converted into the so-called neurosteroids, and these have an inhibitory function, similar to that of hypnotics of the benzodiacipin type.. This situation changes from the hormonal change experienced by women during menopause. The withdrawal of these hormones causes a metabolic change that favors the onset of insomnia.
The second factor is that many of the diseases that disturb sleep are more frequent in women. Thus, the Restless Legs Syndrome, iron deficiency anemia, depression, fibromyalgia, as well as various painful pictures are more frequent in women, and with them also insomnia.
How does menopause affect a woman's rest?
The hormonal changes in the woman described above occur. These cause hot flashes, which are often nocturnal and also alter rest. The hormonal changes also produce a greater fragility in the state of mind, which can be translated into depression, and with it, in insomnia.
In addition, menopause produces an increase in weight, which facilitates the appearance of snoring and respiratory problems. Finally, the hormonal changes typical of menopause can lead to alterations in the secretion of melatonin, and thereby facilitate sleep rhythm problems. Some of these problems are early awakening or problems of conciliation.
Could it be said that drug abuse can have the opposite effect and accentuate insomnia?
Not only its abuse, but even its use, especially if it is prolonged (never use it for more than 1 month). Hypnotics tend to lose effectiveness over time and habituate the brain to its use. In addition, it increases the risk of suffering problems related to memory (such as mild cognitive impairment). Some hypnotics have been linked to respiratory depression and cardiovascular problems. Currently, the European Medicines Agency is reviewing existing recommendations on dosage and its indications.