Going through menopause can be terrifying for many women as your body undergoes many physical and mental changes. These changes include mood swings, weight loss or gain, decreased mental health, insomnia, or trouble sleeping. Let’s take a look at the connection between menopause and sleep.
In This Article:
- Menopause and Sleep – Hot Flashes
- Menopause Insomnia
- Sleep Apnea
- Menopause and Sleep – Home Remedies
Menopause and Sleep-Related Disorders
Menopause and Sleep – Hot Flashes
There have been many different complications caused by menopause leading to insomnia, such as hot flashes. A study estimated that up to 75% of women in perimenopause or menopause stages in the US have this condition. Hot flashes are the sudden sensation of intense body heat that occurs during the day or night.
Associated with hot flashes, apnea night sweats are periods of intense sweating or hyperhidrosis that often occurs during the night leading to disrupted sleep. Even though this condition can occur naturally, women in the menopause stage tend to experience this more often than usual. Hot flashes can be uncomfortable and sometimes even cause menopausal insomnia.
However, you can prevent yourself from experiencing this condition by avoiding triggers such as:
- Being in warm rooms
- Wearing tight, restrictive clothing which can prevent blood circulation and body thermoregulation
- Having an unhealthy diet such as spicy food, alcohol, caffeine
- Smoking or secondhand smoking
- Using heavy blankets or sheets
- Experiencing anxiety and stress
Sleep disturbances like insomnia are quite common, especially in women in their perimenopause or menopause. According to research, the rate of menopausal insomnia can vary from person to person. It can be between 16-42% before menopause, 39% to 47% during perimenopause, and 35% to 60% after menopause.
At first, this may sound normal, but insomnia is a serious condition in which the person is having trouble falling or staying asleep. As a result, it can severely affect that person’s life by creating many complications such as a change in mood, lack of energy in the morning, reduced immunity, memory loss, and increased risk of heart and other organ problems.
Besides hot flashes, during the menopause stage, women can also develop other sleeping disorders like sleep apnea. This is caused by a loss of reproductive hormones such as progesterone and estrogen. These can go undiagnosed because patients will likely ignore or assume these are the effects or symptoms of sleeping disorders.
Due to the loss of protective effects of the hormone during and after menopause, women may develop sleep apnea. However, this condition’s symptoms are more subtle in women than men, so that it can develop unnoticed.
Menopause and Sleep – Home Remedies
Though these conditions can cause you discomfort and can become more severe if left untreated, luckily, there are some solutions to help you get better sleep.
- Exercise. Exercising on a daily basis will not only help you train your body physically but also improves your mental health. By exercising, you increase your heart rate and improve blood circulation, which enhances sleep quality.
- Yoga and meditation. Yoga assists you in improving your blood circulation and increases your oxygen level. Meditation enhances your mental health and helps you reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Research shows that yoga practice can certainly improve sleep quality and quality of life.
- Therapies. Listening to relaxing music or white noise can really help with calming your mind and getting you ready for a good sleep. Also, you can even combine sound therapy with aromatherapy for the best result.
- Take supplements. Taking medication and supplements can help you with your insomnia or sleeping problems. However, you should first consult with your health care provider and look at what kind of treatment you should take.
There is a deep correlation between menopause and sleep issues, but there are also many ways for you to avoid and treat them. Depending on your physique, you will have a different treatment, so seeking help from a healthcare professional is necessary if you want to have the best solution possible.
Share your experience with menopause and sleeping disorders in the comment section below!
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