Many women experience sleep problems during perimenopause, the period before menopause when hormone levels and menstrual periods become irregular. Menopause is a stage in women’s life when their ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and they stop menstruating. Sleep disorders are one of the main symptoms of menopause.
What are the symptoms of sleep disorders that menopausal women experience?
– Falling asleep
– Frequent awakening
– Early morning awakening
However, poor sleep sticks around throughout the menopausal transition and after menopause. Sleep disorder is caused by low estrogen and progesterone level in menopausal women, increasing the risk of insomnia and mood disturbances in postmenopausal women.
What causes sleep disorders in menopausal women?
– vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats)
– Ovarian hormone changes
– Restless legs syndrome
– Periodic leg movement syndrome
– Obstructive sleep apnea
Over time, this sleep loss can take a toll on your health and well-being. Insufficient sleep has been shown to have later detrimental effects on things like our mental health, heart health, cognitive functions, and even the risk of osteoporosis; sleep disorders can affect your health in several ways.
How can sleep disorders affect your health?
– make you feel anxious, irritable, tired, and stressed.
– Affect your ability to focus or pay attention.
– Difficulty remembering things or staying on task.
– Experiencing more errors or accidents.
– Frequent headaches.
– Gastrointestinal issues, such as an upset stomach.
Sleep disorders related to menopause are usually treated by balancing hormonal levels; Consult an Intercare doctor for treatment.
How to treat sleep disorders caused by menopause?
– Hormone replacement therapy. This therapy can supplement your estrogen levels while the natural levels decline during perimenopause and menopause.
– Low-dose birth control. A low dose can stabilize hormone levels, which could ease insomnia.
– Low-dose antidepressants. Medications that alter your brain chemicals may help you find sleep.
However, menopause is a normal part of aging and marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. Menopause typically occurs in a woman’s late 40s to early 50s, often leading to sleep problems—other ways to improve sleep during menopause besides treatments for balancing hormone levels.
How to improve sleep during a menopausal transition?
– Follow a regular sleep schedule. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day.
– Avoid napping in the late afternoon or evening, as it may keep you awake at night.
– Develop a bedtime routine such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, or soaking in a warm bath.
– Avoid watching television or using your computer or mobile device in the bedroom. The light from these devices may make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
– Keep your bedroom comfortable, not too hot or cold, and as quiet as possible.
– Exercise at regular times each day but not close to bedtime.
– Avoid eating large meals close to bedtime.
– Stay away from caffeine (found in many coffees, teas, and chocolate) late in the day.
– Reduce alcohol intake, as it won’t help you sleep. Even small amounts make it harder to stay asleep.
– Wear loose clothing to bed. Clothing made of natural fibers, like cotton, is usually best.
Your sleep can influence and be influenced by your health and other health conditions as you move through menopause. Visit an Intercare doctor if sleep disorder symptoms last longer than four weeks or interfere with your daytime activities and ability to function.