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Sleep Medicine

Sleep Disorders More Common in Women

sleep disorders common in women A healthy sleep pattern is vital for optimal health. But, for millions of American men and women, quality, restorative sleep is elusive because of a variety of sleep disorders.

"Sleep disorders—including insomnia, narcolepsy, nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder and restless leg syndrome—actually affect women more often than men," explains Jose Colon, a sleep medicine physician. "Biology and hormones affect and impact a woman's sleep pattern."

Dr. Colon notes an increased risk of insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome after menopause. Other factors that can lead to sleep disorders include high blood pressure and/or obesity and shift work.

"Though both men and women work night shifts, women are more likely to be affected," Dr. Colon says. "Women who work the night shift get less and more disrupted sleep. They also are more likely to have ovulation problems that lead to problems conceiving."

Javaad Khan, M.D., a sleep medicine physician and director of the Sleep Center at the Outpatient Center at Plantation, adds that many women who have undiagnosed sleep apnea complain of insomnia—which is one example of the value and importance of a sleep study prior to treatment or the use of sleep aids.

"We want to ensure that we properly treat every patient," Dr. Khan says. "Medications— such as Benadryl, which is frequently seen in over-the-counter sleep aids—can make restless leg syndrome worse. Sleep aids can also make sleep apnea worse. Chronic insomnia should not be treated with OTC sleep aids or herbal or nutritional substances because of the lack of effectiveness and safety data. These are all valid reasons for a sleep medicine evaluation for the appropriate identification of a sleep disorder."

If you or a loved one is experiencing sleep problems, a sleep study can help. You can call us for an appointment or ask your primary care physician for a referral. Available at one of our conveniently located sleep disorder centers, a sleep study usually involves an overnight stay or a daytime study for overnight workers.

“Sleep disorders—including insomnia, narcolepsy, nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder and restless leg syndrome—actually affect women more often than men,” explains Jose Colon, a sleep medicine physician. “Biology and hormones affect and impact a woman's sleep pattern.”

Signs of a Sleep Disorder

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Jose Colon, M.D.
Sleep Medicine
Lee Physician Group
13601 Plantation Road
Suite 1
Fort Myers, FL 33912
239-343-0762

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Javaad Khan, M.D.
Sleep Medicine
Lee Physician Group
13601 Plantation Road
Suite 1
Fort Myers, FL 33912
239-343-0762

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