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PCOS & Sleep | Hormones affecting sleep

PCOS is known to cause sleeping disorders in women. Here's an A to Z guide to help you fight insomnia linked to PCOS.

3 min read
PCOS & Sleep | Hormones affecting sleep

Sleep is a crucial part of your overall well being. Having an unorganized sleep schedule makes you lethargic, irritable and keeps you from being your best possible self.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is a fairly common condition. It is characterized by hormonal imbalance and causes problems in the body.

These include infrequent periods, acne, an increase in weight, excess body hair growth, and conceiving problems.

A recurring question asked by women suffering is, does PCOS make you sleepy? Women suffering from PCOS often get issues about disrupting blissful sleep. Managing the severity of PCOS also depends on the quality of sleep you get.

Can PCOS Cause Sleep Problems?

PCOS is a common endocrine disorder seen in pre-menopausal women affecting almost 5-8% of them. Recent studies have shown an increase in the prevalence of sleep apnea (sleep issues due to PCOS is called sleep apnea) in women with PCOS.

It has been observed that women with PCOS were 30 times at higher risk than those without for disorderly breathing patterns while sleeping. Sleep apnea is the temporarily paused breathing either once or more times during sleep. A constant sleepy feeling during the day was also commonplace.

Several experts think that women with PCOS could be at a greater risk for disturbed sleeping patterns because of insulin resistance.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps convert the sugar in the blood to energy.

Women who have PCOS sometimes overproduce insulin, which causes the cells to not respond conventionally to insulin, leading to an increased risk of diabetes.

Poor Quality Sleep With PCOS

Women with PCOS are prone to EDS or excessive daytime sleepiness. Diminished productivity, fogginess, and lapses in judgment are all quite common. Feeling less enthusiastic about participating in tasks and not being completely happy when performing these activities are also noticed.

Disturbed sleep patterns in women with PCOS can be attributed to obstructive sleep apnea. Multiple breathing interruptions characterize it during sleep because the respiratory tract muscles fail to keep the airway patent. Many complications follow such cases. There may be increased blood pressure, liver diseases, weight gain, and an inability to lose excess weight.

A healthy sleep pattern is crucial for your overall health. Being deprived of this often leads to an unstable mood, tiredness, excess intake of carbs that eventually leads to weight gain. Hence, it is essential to maintain a good sleeping pattern to manage the symptoms of PCOS. You should try establishing a good sleep routine or consult a doctor to suggest better ways to combat this issue.

Tea for PCOS

A cup of bedtime teas such as the valerian-root tea, helps PCOS fatigue treatment. It is most commonly used to manage sleep disorders, particularly insomnia. It behaves like a sedative to the brain and helps you get blissful sleep.

Essential Oils for PCOS

The benefits of essential oils are numerous; they help tackle certain illnesses, invigorate your immune system, and relieve anxiety. However, they are also beneficial in helping you sleep peacefully. Soothing oils such as lavender, vanilla, rose, jasmine, and sandalwood have proven benefits in PCOS fatigue treatment. They can be applied to the body (diluted), inhaled as mist, or added to your bath for best effects.

Ayurvedic herbs that help PCOS

Ayurveda is an ancient and proven therapy for PCOS. It needs you to avoid certain foods to work optimally. Junk foods are the worst foods for PCOS and should not be consumed. Ayurvedic treatment of the condition is a mix of different herbs to empower your reproductive system. Some of these include:


Also called winter cherry, it helps energize your body and tackle constant shifts in your mood. It aids in reducing stress and managing symptoms of PCOS.


The herb has anti-androgenic properties; this means it blocks testosterone. That makes it effective in managing the symptoms of this condition.


It is a rich source of several essential vitamins and minerals such as A, B1, B2, C, E, iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. That makes this an excellent antioxidant and aids in protecting the reproductive system. It also has anti-diabetic effects and fosters fertility.

Improve sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene is nothing but practicing good sleep habits. The benefits of good sleep hygiene are numerous and help improve your overall health. Following are a few good sleep hygiene tips:

  • Stay consistent. Sleep at a fixed time every night and wake up at a designated time throughout the week.
  • Keep your room at a silent, dark, and comfortable temperature while you sleep.
  • Make sure there are no electronics in your room.
  • Refrain from having coffee or large dinners.
  • Exercise during the day to sleep soundly at night

Regular exercise for PCOS

PCOS has a common symptom of fatigue. It makes one feel very tired. To overcome this, exercises are recommended as they help sleep better. Daily cardio of brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or even swimming would help you sleep better. Have an established routine to help you overcome fatigue and apnea.
PCOS is a common condition often associated with a disturbed sleeping pattern. So if you experience PCOS and snoring during the day, don’t be alarmed. Consulting your physician and begin adapting a routine to manage the condition to hamper its progress. A good sleep routine, a healthy diet, and a disciplined lifestyle are crucial to overcoming this.


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