Menopause and Sleep

Menopause and Sleep

Menopause occurs in middle-aged women when their production of estrogen and progesterone slows down. This is usually a gradual process, but can also occur abruptly and severely in women who have have their ovaries removed, which completely stops the production of estrogen and progesterone. Women going through this major physical and psychological change can experience anxiety, depression, mood swings, hot flashes, and insomnia. In fact, over half of women during menopause complain of sleep problems. Also, snoring tends to increase in menopausal and post-menopausal women, possibly signaling sleep apnea. There are medications out there, like hormone replacement therapy and estrogen replacement therapy, to aid in the relief of menopause symptoms. However, these medications are not meant to be used long term and should be taken at the lowest possible dose because recent studies have shown that HRT may cause dementia and heart problems. There is an alternative treatment using soy to combat symptoms, but it’s efficacy is inconsistent. There are also some things you can do in your everyday life to cope, such as eating small and healthy meals, wearing light clothing when sleeping to avoid overheating at night, reducing your daily stress level, and avoiding nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol.

Key Points:

  • 1Adding a fan to your bedroom to increase air circulation and help cool you can improve your sleep.
  • 2Avoid heavy blankets and wear light weight pajamas to bed to help avoid overheating.
  • 3Reduce stress, maintain a healthy weight and make exercise a part of your daily routine to aid in a good night’s sleep.

Generally, post-menopausal women are less satisfied with their sleep and as many as 61% report insomnia symptoms.


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