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Sleep Issues and Menopause

From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List

Woman dealing with sleep issues and insomnia during menopauseIs there a connection between menopause and sleeping problems?

Many women dealing with menopause and all the hormonal changes it brings find that their sleep is affected, too. Sleeping issues can begin during perimenopause and leave women exhausted and miserable by the time menopause actually arrives. Women dealing with surgical menopause can also experience sleep problems.

As part of the hormonal changes of perimenopause, progesterone levels begin to decrease. Because progesterone promotes sleep, these lower levels can cause sleeping issues for some women. Women who have had their ovaries removed also have low levels of progesterone.

Estrogen levels can be erratic during periomenopause, making you more susceptible to sleep disturbances. If you are working to find the right balance of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), your hormone levels may also be fluctuating. If you have lower levels of estrogen, that can create fight or flight responses, even in your sleep. Those responses can in turn cause the release of cortisol. High levels of cortisol interrupt your sleeping patterns so that you may be unable to stay asleep, or you may feel tired but not be able to sleep.

Hot flashes and night sweats from the hormonal imbalances can also negatively impact sleep. The sweat and change in temperature can leave you too uncomfortable to sleep. Hot flashes can also cause a surge of adrenaline that wakes up your brain so you are unable to fall asleep.

Menopause can also cause physical issues such as vaginal dryness and dry skin, making you uncomfortable and unable to relax. You could be trying to cope with mood swings. You may also find that all the changes your body is going through cause you to feel negatively about yourself. Separately or combined, all of these issues can make sleeping more difficult as your mind and body fail to relax.

There are several tips you can follow for managing insomnia during menopause, but the key will be finding what works for you based on what is preventing you from sleeping. In some cases, sleeping medications or hormones may be the answer, however, you may also find that some lifestyle changes, watching what you eat, taking time to nurture your inner you, and learning to manage hot flashes could be helpful. Rather than suffer, talk to your doctor about your sleeping issues so you can work together to find a solution for you!

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

10-28-2015 - 01:04 PM


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