Conditions that are unique to women -- like the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause -- affect how well a woman will sleep at night. These factors affect hormone levels, such as progesterone and estrogen, and continuously change throughout a woman's lifetime.
Restless leg syndrome, for example, is most prevalent when hormone levels are altered during pregnancy. As estrogen levels decrease later in life during menopause, hot flashes, insomnia and other sleep disturbances commonly occur. Decreased estrogen is also a notable cause of sleep apnea.
Difficulty sleeping is most common after women reach puberty.