Woman sleeping

ORLANDO, Fla. — A bad night's sleep can leave you tired, moody, and unfocused the next day.

"There's no reason that anyone should have to be miserable and sleep deprived," stated Katie Kovaleski, founder of Anytime Sleep Consulting.

If you're a woman who doesn't sleep well, research from Yale shows your hormones may be the culprit. Your body has 50 hormones that help start or stop certain body functions. The two major female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, may impact sleep at different times in a woman's life. For instance, right before menstruation, progesterone levels dip dramatically. During pregnancy and menopause, both estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate up and down. Experts say try exercise to offset sleeping difficulties. Also, avoid nicotine and caffeine. And...

"According to the National Sleep Foundation, about two out of three women in or around menopause are going to have sleep issues," explained Dr. Mache Seibel, an OBGYN and member of faculty at Harvard Medical School.

If you're going through menopause, soy-rich foods, which contain a chemical that mimics the effect of estrogen, can help. These include: tofu, miso, soy milk, and edamame. You may also want to ask your doctor about birth control or hormone replacement therapy. Some studies have found women who take these therapies report sleep improvements.

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome may especially struggle with sleeping difficulties due to hormones. They typically have higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of progesterone. They also have a greater risk of developing sleep apnea, a condition that causes irregular breathing during sleep.