Sleep-Wake Disorders: Gender and Sex Differences

Sleep-wake disorders refer to a vast array of disorders identified by symptomatology that occurs during the intended sleep period, with accompanying daytime functioning complaints. Sleep-wake disorders are highly prevalent among many populations. They include problems with insufficient or disturbed sleep (e.g., insomnia), excessive sleep (e.g., hypersomnia, narcolepsy), undesired movement during sleep (e.g., restless legs syndrome [RLS]), sleep-related breathing disorders (e.g., obstructive sleep apnea [OSA]), abnormal behavior during sleep (e.g., parasomnias), and misalignment of sleep and desired schedule (e.g., shift work, delayed sleep phase syndrome). It is probable that there are gender and sex differences in many of these disorders (gender refers to social constructions of men and women, whereas sex refers to biological sex). However, as of 2015, empirical data exist for only a few ...

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