Menopause Insomnia

Menopause insomnia and common problems affecting sleep. 

Menopause Affect on Insomnia

Many women that go through menopause don't develop any sleep problems, but many women do. 

Unfortunately sleep problems develop in the early stages of menopause, and then become more of a habit disturbing sleep. 

If it's a habit, it can be hard for these disturbing sleep patterns to change during menopause. 

Menopause Insomnia

The biggest menopause related problems causing sleep disturbance... 

  • Hot flashes. Many women are awaken in the middle of the night because of hot flashes. If awaken by a hot flash, this makes falling back asleep very difficult.

  • As estrogen falls, other things are happening that commonly affect sleep. For the first 4 hours of sleep, you usually go into the deeper sleep. After 4 hours, you go into what is called REM sleep. At this time, it's normal for the body core temperature to drop a degree or two. This helps to keep you in the REM stages. 

    With menopause, the core drop in temperature often doesn't occur. Because of this, it's easier for women to awaken do to temperature changes or noises in the bedroom. Taking aspirin or Ibuprofen can often help with this. Talk to your doctor about contra-indications.

  • Often a big problem is lifestyle. Many women sabotage themselves by living a lifestyle that doesn't facilitate sleep. Working hard late at night or being active late at night can make it harder to get to deal with menopause insomnia. The brain needs time to rest and distress. 

    Take at least an hour before bedtime to relax and prepare for sleep. Bright lights and loud noises activates the brain more. You don't really want to be doing anything that activates your brain. You want to limit your activities in bed. 

    For example, don't read books for hours on end or watch TV or eat in bed. It's best to keep the bedroom as the place you go to sleep.

  • Limit caffeine intake in the afternoon. Caffeine will likely keep you awake and interfere with your sleep.

  • Cigarettes and nicotine can keep you awake.
  • This is another reason to stop smoking.

  • Eat dinner earlier in the evening. If you eat late, especially sugar, this will keep your body awake.

  • Wine is something people have used to fall asleep. This can help you get to sleep, but often women will wake up in a few hours after drink wine.

Common reasons for sleeplessness and hormone effects on sleep

Menopause Insomnia Illnesses and Conditions Affecting Sleep

It's a good idea to talk to your health care provider to see what might be interfering with your sleep. 

There are illnesses and conditions that can interfere with sleep. 

  • Obstructive sleep apnea.
  • This is a condition where breathing stops for seconds at a time during sleep. 

  • Restless leg syndrome. This is a strange condition people get. This has to do with sensations in the legs and the feeling to desperately move them. These sensations seem to come about more when the person is moving around. 

    These occur more often at night than during the day.
  • Sensations can range from mild aches and pains to a feeling of tingling and itchiness.

  • Medications for depression or hypertension.

Talk to your doctor about what can help you improve your sleep. Medications can be helpful, but not something you want to become dependent upon. 

It's usually best to change your lifestyle and cut back on work. Also, increase your pleasurable and relaxing activities in the evening. 

Trying to control your hot flashes and any bodily aches and pains you get will go a long way to improving your menopause insomnia. 

› Menopause Insomnia

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