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Connecting the dots between PCOS and Sleep Disorders

Of all the prevalent symptoms we commonly read about PCOS, sleep disturbances are often ignored. Sleep is not given its due importance as an essential part of our body's physiology. Read about the sleep issues in women with PCOS.

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Johanitha Moraes
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Pcos and sleep

Photo taken from Canva Stock Images

In young women and adolescents, PCOS has become as normal as it can get. PCOS can occur due to various factors ranging from genetics, hormonal imbalance, lifestyle changes, dietary habits, and no physical exercise to stress-related effects. PCOS comes with a multitude of problems burdening a woman’s life. Due to the lack of regular menstrual cycles, the vicious cycle of PCOS leading to stress and vice versa is never-ending. Apart from the hormonal disturbances that manifest in facial features and signs, the reproductive organs are not at their best, obesity, hormonal imbalances and to add to it all, the disturbed sleep patterns due to decreased melatonin.

An important and often ignored effect of PCOS is the effect on the brain. The sleep disturbances and the altered patterns of sleep are produced as a consequence of PCOS. Sleep is an overly ignored part of our daily routine these days. People are so work-driven and career-oriented which is great, but at what cost? Not allowing your brain and body to enjoy their due rest especially after hours of continuous strenuous work is cruel. Gytree has a program that is devoted to sleep which is “Sleep better, live better”and a program for all the PCOS cysters which is “Tackle PCOS - Holistic program”.  Do check out our programs for a renewed approach and guidance towards.

Pcos and sleep
Photo taken from Canva Stock Images

The Hormone Imbalance 

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Hormones play a role in regulating every process in your body be it sleep or your reproductive activity. Due to the hormonal imbalance already present in PCOS, the levels of cortisol and melatonin are non-regulated causing bad effects on sleep. Hormonal imbalances, a hallmark of PCOS, can disrupt the body's natural sleep-wake cycle. Elevated levels of androgens, insulin resistance, and irregular menstrual cycles may contribute to sleep difficulties such as difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakenings, and poor sleep quality.

Sleep disorders commonly associated with PCOS

Depending on the severity of PCOS, common sleep disorders might arise and persist or even worsen as time progresses. Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of experiencing sleep disturbances compared to the general population. Studies have shown a prevalence of sleep disorders, including insomnia, and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among women with PCOS. 

Insomnia

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep. There is a problem with the ease at which one falls asleep. This is usually seen in PCOS cases that are associated with Insulin Resistance. Due to insulin resistance, the body attempts to always keep the blood glucose levels regulated. This further affects your responses to a situation. Due to high cortisol levels, the PCOS complicates further. 

Characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing poor quality of sleep, insomnia worsens the already complex symptomatology of PCOS. Hormonal imbalances that are innate to PCOS, including elevated levels of androgens and irregular menstrual cycles, disrupt the body's natural sleep-wake cycle, contributing to insomnia. 

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Pcos and sleep
Photo taken from Canva Stock Images

Obstructive Sleep Apnea-

OSA, characterized by recurrent episodes of complete or partial upper airway obstruction during sleep, disrupts breathing patterns and compromises sleep quality. In women with PCOS, several factors contribute to the heightened risk of OSA, including obesity, insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances, and structural differences in upper airway anatomy. 

Elevated levels of androgens in PCOS women may lead to increased deposition of fat around the neck, predisposing them to airway narrowing and obstruction during sleep. Insulin resistance, a common feature of PCOS, further aggravates the risk of OSA by promoting inflammation and compromising upper airway muscle tone. Additionally, irregular menstrual cycles and hormonal fluctuations characteristic of PCOS may disrupt the stability of breathing patterns during sleep. 

Can PCOS impact my sleep cycle?

Yes, it most certainly can affect your sleep cycle majorly due to the hormonal imbalance that PCOS naturally offers. It can also be linked to the psychological problems that arise as a result of PCOS which hampers your sleep cycle. The psychological burden of PCOS, including anxiety, depression, and stress, can further exacerbate sleep problems. Women with PCOS may experience increased levels of psychological distress, which can interfere with sleep onset and maintenance.

Women with PCOS who experience sleep disturbances should seek support from healthcare providers who specialize in both reproductive health and lifestyle wellness. Gytree’s newly launched Sound Sleep Gummies which contain melatonin and ashwagandha are effective in improving your sleep quality. Visit the Gytree Shop to get yours NOW! It is advisable to talk to our Gytree Experts for a consultation if you seem to be experiencing extreme difficulty. 

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