Women use sleeping pills more often than men. So, while roughly nine million people use sleeping pills in the United States, the majority of them are women. In fact, studies show that middle-aged women, in particular, are more likely to use sleeping medications than any other demographic.  Although there is no obvious reason for this, many studies show that it is true. Therefore, some researchers have began speculating as to why women may have more trouble sleeping.

Women Use Sleeping Pills More Often: Why Falling Asleep is Tricky


While studies show that women are far more likely to use sleeping pills, one researcher noticed that this is not true for nuns. As this study began, the researchers started to compare. What they discovered is something that a lot of middle-aged women have, that nuns don’t have–kids. As women begin having children, they often loose a drastic amount of sleep. It starts off when they have a baby. She goes from getting a normal amount of sleep, to a very small, interrupted amount of sleep on a daily basis. However, as a child grows they develop a sleeping routine and the mother gets back to a more regular sleep pattern. But some studies suggest that a mother’s sleep cycle never returns to what it was before she was a mother.


Another common belief for why women have more trouble sleeping is menopause. Menopause is a stage of life that most women experience around middle age. It causes a moderate change in hormones that can affect a person’s ability to fall and stay asleep. Many women experience increased brain activity and anxiety during this time which are both common triggers for a development in sleeping problems.

Work related stress

Studies also show that women who use sleeping pills also tend to come from higher education. Since this is true, it may be possible that they possess jobs with a strong mental demand. This can lead to more stress and anxiety that disrupts their ability to fall asleep. Women also tend to multi-task regularly. So while men have jobs that require a mental demand, they may only focus on that demand. But women will feel the demands of work, while also thinking about other things. This multi-tasking can keep the brain active when it is time to go to sleep.

So, we’ve learned from this that there are many factors which can influence a middle-aged woman to have trouble sleeping. In short, women use sleeping pills more often because they face a variety of obstacles in their lives that can amount to heavy stress and a heavy demand for their time. These factors, combined with the studies above, are strong indicators of the ‘why’ behind this particular theory.