About this event

  • Date and time Tue 5 Feb 2019 from 8:30am to 4:45pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Sleep Medicine

Registrations are now closed.

Sleep is a complex process which evolves across the lifespan and is essential for good physical and mental health. This complexity is compounded in women whose sleep is affected by menarche, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and the menopause.

Not only is normal sleep different in women and men, but the frequency and nature of sleep disorders differ as well. The more complex physiology, child-bearing responsibilities, social roles and expectations of women mean that sleep disorders may impact on women’s health and wellbeing in complicated ways and any treatment of their sleep disorders would need to account for this.


Topics covered:

  • How sleep in women differs from men and how it develops across the lifespan.
  • The reciprocal interaction between sleep disorders and female physiology.
  • The impact of social factors, particularly the growth of shift work and the 24 hour society and why this may present unique challenges and risks for women.

Key speakers

Mariana G. Figuero Ph.D.

Director of the Lighting Research Center (LRC) and Professor of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

Helen Driver

Manager of the 6-bed sleep disorders laboratory and the EEG and EMG Departments at Kingston General Hospital and Queen’s University.  


View the programme

Welcome and introduction
Sleep across the lifespan and the gender divide

Dr Helen Driver, Department of Medicine Queen's University and Kingston General Hospital, Canada

Sleep and fertility

Dr Sara McNeillis, Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital

Treating sleep disorders in pregnancy

Dr Sofia Eriksson, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery

Tea and coffee break
Sleep in mothers - the first year and beyond

Dr Hugh Selsick, Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine

Social and psychological aspects of women's sleep

Dr Laura Madeley, Guy's Hospital

Panel discussion
Sleep disorders and the menstrual cycle

Dr Helen Driver, Department of Medicine Queen's University and Kingston General Hospital, Canada

Light, circadian rhythm and cancer

Professor Mariana Figuero, Light Research Centre, New York

Tea and coffee break
Sleep and the menopause

Mr Michael Savvas, Consultant Gynaecologist, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Panel discussion


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom