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Having PCOS? It’s time to Maintain Better Sleep Hygiene

PCOS! What’s that?

One among every ten women aged between 15 and 44 have PCOS. This Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a woman’s common health issue caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. In this condition, a woman's body lacks the desired levels of female reproductive hormones like estrogen, progesterone, FSH, and LH. Estrogen and progesterone levels are usually found considerably lower than usual, while androgen levels (male hormone levels) are found higher than normal. These additional male hormones disturb the normal functions of the ovaries, create a problem in releasing healthy eggs and disrupt the menstrual cycle. As a result, the women with PCOS suffer from disturbed periods, few health hazards including the development of cysts in ovaries and sometimes complication with getting pregnant. No worries, PCOS is treatable.

PCOS and Sleep Disorders – What’s the connection?

Research shows that patients suffering from PCOS usually go through worse sleep disorders compared to healthy individuals but mostly their poor sleep is not a symptom that stands out, even to their physicians. It’s mostly not considered as an interconnected symptom and not treated on high priority – that’s alarming!

In our previous articles, we discussed the importance of Melatonin in getting proper sleep. The International Journal of Preventive claims, “Melatonin also plays a vital role in reproductive processes, namely, ovarian function. It may affect gonadal function and secretion of sexual hormones, follicular development, oocyte maturation, ovulation, and oocyte quality. High levels of melatonin metabolite in urine are accompanied by poor sleep quality and an increase in oxidative stress in untreated PCOS women compared with their treated counterparts. A decrease in melatonin metabolite with the reduction in serum luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, dehydroepiandrosterone, and testosterone levels during treatment, was suggestive of a correlation between melatonin and sex steroids in PCOS patients.”

Hence, treating PCOS patients must include the concern of their sleep quality as sleep disorders often accompany the other symptoms like depression, anxiety, obesity, cardiovascular diseases also. On the other hand, if their sleep quality is taken care of, many other interconnected health hazards can be healed and thereby cut off the complications.

As we all know, sleep is a magic medicine that heals many health issues, almost everything!

The type of Sleep Disorders the PCOS patients face –

PCOS patients mostly suffer from short nighttime sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness, sometimes insomnia. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is also common in PCOS patients.

How to treat Sleep Disorders for PCOS patients?

To treat sleep disorders, PCOS patients must maintain good sleep habits and sleep hygiene. Mostly advised recommendations are:

  1. Eat healthy, sleep healthy. A balanced diet can avoid so many health hazards making your body fit enough. Take Iron and Vitamin B12 supplements if your body lacks them and your doctor advises to do so. You will get good sleep at night and feel energetic during the daytime.
  2. Invest in a mattress that provides you good comfort and support. Also, maintain sleep hygiene.
  3. Maintain a proper time-table to get good sleep at night.
  4. Work-it-out! Exercise daily and keep yourself engaged with productive tasks so that you spend the day well and sleep sound at night.
  5. Stay away from smoking, alcohol, and drug. They ruin your health and disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. 
  6. Go for regular health check-ups and ensure good health.
  7. Meet your bed only when you are sleepy. Please note that there are certain differences between feeling tired and feeling sleepy. Don’t get confused between the two. Most significantly, avoid spending your day on bed irrespective of how much you love it!
  8. Keep your smartphone and electronic gadgets away from your bed. Let technologies be your daytime playmates.