Menopause Sleep Problems

Menopause sleep problems can be caused by a number of things like a hot flash that leaves your pajamas drench in sweat or anxiety about an elderly parent or problems at work. 

Emotional and physiological issues can cause sleep problems

During menopause, a wide range of physiological symptoms and emotional issues come together depriving women of the much needed sleep. 

Don't make the mistake of believing you don't need adequate sleep. Lack of sleep is a major health issue. 

Lack of sleep makes you more vulnerable to a number of diseases including, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes. 

Many menopausal women complain of moodiness and don't realize lack of sleep may be the issue. 

Menopause Sleep Solutions

Treating sleep disorders and menopause symptoms

Menopause Sleep problems for menopausal women

Menopause sleep problems range from trouble staying asleep to a less ability to stay in a deep sleep. 

The following are ways menopause can affect your sleep at night. 

  • waking up earlier

  • sleep disturbed by night sweats

  • more trouble falling asleep and staying asleep

  • more frequent arousals

  • less deep sleep

  • waking up to go to the bathroom once or twice a night

  • problems going back to sleep after awakening

  • becoming sleepy earlier in the evening

Misdiagnosed sleep disorders

Menopause sleep problems are often ignored by women themselves or misdiagnosed by their doctors. Most doctors don't get much training about sleep disorders in medical school and don't understand how complex it is. 

Your problems sleeping may be directly related to shifts in hormone levels, aging, or a sleep disorder. The more you learn about the subject, the better chance you have of getting a good nights sleep. 

Two Phases of Sleep

While you sleep, you alternate about four or five times between rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep. 

REM Sleep 
Most dreaming occurs during REM sleep. 

non-REM Sleep 
Non-REM is divided into four stages, progressing from light to deep sleep. As you get older, you spend less time in deep sleep and more time in lighter levels of sleep. 

As you get older, this "sleep architecture" changes. 

After the age of 50, women are more likely than men to complain about lack of sleep. 

Women are generally more sensitive to the mood alterations caused by lack of sleep. 

Women and Sleep Disorders

Certain sleep disorders are more common in women. 

Snoring or sleep-disordered breathing describes a group of disorders characterized by abnormalities of respiratory pattern or the quantity of ventilation during sleep. 

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common such disorder, is characterized by the repetitive collapse or partial collapse of the pharyngeal airway during sleep and the need to arouse to resume ventilation. 

Women who are overweight and physically inactive are more likely to suffer from this disorder. 

Some scientists believe it may also be related to lower levels of progesterone, since younger women that have had surgical menopause are also at a higher risk. 

When should you see a doctor?

You should see a physician if you experience these menopause sleep problems frequently.

  • heartburn

  • a very fast or very slow irregular heartbeat

  • headaches in the middle of the night or morning

  • trouble breathing or loud snoring

  • constant need to go to the bathroom (more than once or twice a night)

  • leg discomfort that improves with movement and gets worse in the evening

  • severe sweating

  • a consistent pattern of more than nine hours or less than five hours of sleep a night

› Menopause Sleep

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