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Insomnia and sleep apnea in midlife women: prevalence and consequences to health and functioning.

Sleep disturbance is common during the menopausal transition, with numerous downstream consequences to health and functioning, including reduced quality of life, impaired mental health, and increased physical health morbidity. Insomnia affects approximately 50% of midlife women and is characterized by nocturnal symptoms of difficulties initiating or maintaining sleep (or both) and daytime symptoms that impair occupational, social, or other components of functioning. In addition, approximately 20% of midlife women develop sleep-disordered breathing during the menopausal transition. This commentary summarizes the prevalence, risk factors, and treatment options for each of these sleep disorders in midlife women, with specific focus on first-line treatments for insomnia (cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia) and sleep-disordered breathing (continuous positive airway pressure) and unique considerations for treating sleep disorders in midlife women. Future directions are also discussed.

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