4 Reasons Sleepless Nights Plague Women (and How to Finally Get Rest)

young sad depressed black afro American woman awake on bed sleepless suffering insomnia sleeping disorder anxiety problem with alarm clock late night hour
Medically Reviewed
May 17, 2024

Working in functional medicine, I see countless women with the same weary plea: “I just can’t sleep anymore.” Fragmented sleep, early morning wakefulness, and the frustration of feeling constantly exhausted are struggles that disproportionately impact women, especially as we navigate hormonal shifts throughout our lives. 

Unlike traditional OBGYN or primary care, functional medicine providers like at Nava Health understand the unique challenges women face with sleep. We are experts in root cause approaches to medicine and understand the fundamental role hormones play in the quality of women’s health.  

Here, we’ll delve into four reasons why sleep eludes you, explore the role of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) in perimenopause and beyond, and discover how functional and integrative therapies can become your allies in achieving restful nights. 

The Sleep Thieves: Why Women Struggle More 

  1. Hormonal Rollercoaster: Estrogen and progesterone play a crucial role in regulating sleep cycles. During perimenopause, the years leading up to menopause, these hormones begin to fluctuate wildly. Estrogen’s calming effect diminishes, while progesterone, with its sleep-promoting properties, also dips. This hormonal imbalance can lead to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, leaving you feeling restless and unrefreshed. 
  1. Stress Takes the Wheel: Women are often the “go-to” people, juggling work, family, and personal responsibilities. Chronic stress keeps cortisol, the “fight-or-flight” hormone, elevated. Cortisol disrupts the natural production of melatonin, the hormone that signals sleepiness. The result? A stressed mind that just can’t unwind. 
  1. Hidden Health Conditions: Women are more prone to certain health conditions that can disrupt sleep. Thyroid issues, sleep apnea, and even chronic pain can all contribute to restless nights. A thorough evaluation, with advanced diagnostic testing helps identify underlying conditions that might be impacting your sleep. 
  1. Nutritional Deficiencies: Essential nutrients like magnesium, vitamin D, and B vitamins play a vital role in sleep regulation. Deficiencies in these areas can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. 

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy and the Sleep Connection 

During perimenopause and menopause, BHRT can be a powerful tool for restoring hormonal balance and promoting better sleep. BHRT uses bioidentical hormones structurally identical to those naturally produced by the body.  

By replenishing progesterone and possibly estrogen, BHRT can help regulate sleep cycles and alleviate the sleep disturbances associated with hormonal fluctuations. 

Beyond Hormones: Functional Therapies for Restful Nights 

While BHRT can be a game-changer, it’s just one piece of the sleep puzzle. Functional and integrative medicine offers many additional therapies to combat stress, manage cortisol levels, and promote well-being, all of which contribute to better sleep.  

Here are some powerful potential additions to your sleep-supportive arsenal: 

  • Acupuncture: This ancient practice involves inserting thin needles at specific points on the body. Studies have shown acupuncture to be effective in reducing stress, improving sleep quality, and managing anxiety, all of which can contribute to better sleep. 
  • IV Hydration with Targeted Nutrients: Dehydration can disrupt sleep patterns. Intravenous (IV) hydration therapy delivers fluids and essential nutrients directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system for faster and more efficient absorption. This can be particularly helpful if you have nutrient deficiencies that are impacting your sleep. Additionally, targeted IV infusions with specific nutrients like magnesium and B vitamins can further address any gaps that might be hindering restful sleep. 
  • Mind-Body Practices: Techniques like meditation, yoga, and mindfulness training can be remarkably effective in managing stress and promoting relaxation. These practices help quiet the mind, reduce anxiety, and prepare the body for sleep. 
  • Targeted Supplementation: research shows that supplementing with glycine promotes serotonin release, helps with insomnia, and improves sleep quality. L-theanine is another supplement that promotes relaxation and deep sleep while also relieving anxiety. 

Creating Your Personalized Sleep Roadmap 

The path to restful sleep is unique to each woman.  Comprehensive integrative care looks at the whole of you. By understanding the hormonal and lifestyle factors, we can create a custom plan that addresses the root cause of your sleeplessness.  

You don’t have to suffer through insomnia or poor sleep. Learn more by contacting the integrative wellness team at Nava Health.  

The information contained in this blog post is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. This blog post does not establish a doctor-patient relationship and should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. 


The information contained in this blog post is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. This blog post does not establish a doctor-patient relationship and should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. 

Dr. Angela DeRosa

As our Associate Medical Director, Dr. Angela De Rosa is integral to the continued education and innovation here at Nava Health. Dr. Angela DeRosa, DO, MBA, CPE, is a dynamic professional on a mission to change the face of women’s health and wellness. As a respected, internationally recognized authority on women’s hormonal health, Dr. DeRosa understands the range of health issues women face leading up to and during menopause, as she was in full-blown menopause by age 35. Dr. DeRosa has more than 25 years of experience in the medical field, both on the pharmaceutical side and in clinical practice.

Dr. DeRosa’s enthusiasm for educating patients on the realities of menopause and the risk factors of hormonal health imbalances has never waned. It was the driving force behind her first bestselling book, A Woman’s Health Survival Guide: How to Prevent Your Doctor From Slowly Killing You. Her book and its controversial title caught the attention of the public, media, and the medical community.

Dr. DeRosa is on the advisory board for the European Menopause and Andropause Society, a member of the International Menopause Society International Society of the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, and a researcher on women’s health issues. Dr. DeRosa is a Midwestern University Clinical Assistant Professor and a Past Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association President.