Mari Viola-Saltzman, Hrayr Attarian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


There is a strong gender bias in both research and practice of sleep medicine. This has started to gradually change in the new century, yet a lot of misconceptions still remain. Another unique population whose sleep health is similarly affected is that of sexual minorities. Presentation of common sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD), can significantly differ in women compared to men. This, in turn, leads to both underdiagnoses and misdiagnosis. Others like insomnia, restless legs syndrome (RLS), sleep related eating disorder (SRED) are more prevalent in women. During pregnancy women are uniquely susceptible to sleep disorders, which in turn can affect the health of both mother and fetus. Menopause is also a time where there is a significant increase in the risk of various sleep disorders. Both social and biological drivers impact sleep health of sexual minorities. It is important to understand these factors as most can be addressed and their effect mitigated. The book is divided into six sections partially based on women’s life stages. We have expanded and updated all of the chapters and added four new ones. Two focus on gender and sex differences, another one on sleep and its disorders in sexual minorities and lastly, one is on sleep disturbances in breast cancer. We hope this book will serve as a primer for clinicians and will raise awareness in the medical community of the importance for properly screening, diagnosing and treating these disorders in women. To this end we have provided, as an appendix, a handy, OSA in women, screening tool geared towards both patients and providers that the Society for Women’s Health Research developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCurrent Clinical Neurology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameCurrent Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)1559-0585
ISSN (Electronic)2524-4043


  • Gender bias
  • Menopause
  • OSA
  • Pregnancy
  • RBD
  • RLS
  • SRED
  • Sexual minorities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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