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What Is The Relation Between Menopause & Insomnia

It has been found that several women going through menopause have sleep problems.
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According to data, several menopausal women face sleeping problems. This proves that there is a direct connection between menopause and insomnia. Dr. Aarthi Bharat, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Banashankari Bangalore is here to tell us what effects does menopause have on insomnia.

What Is Menopause?

Menopause is a natural change in a woman’s body that typically occurs 12 months after their last period. This transition is likely to begin between 45 and 55, lasting for seven to fourteen years depending on lifestyle factors like smoking, age, race, and ethnicity. During premenopause, the years leading up to menopause, women may have changes in their menstrual cycles, hot flashes, or other symptoms as the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone declines. 

Besides age, menopause can also be triggered by a hysterectomy or surgical removal of the ovaries, which produce hormones. As menopause begins, a woman’s body starts to use energy differently, leading to changes in bone or heart health, body shape and composition, or physical function. People with perimenopause and menopause also experience insomnia that hinders their daily life and activities. 

What Is Insomnia?

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Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that prevents you from getting adequate sleep. It is common amongst women going through perimenopause and menopause. While some women have mild or occasional insomnia, some face severe insomnia. People with insomnia may take 30 minutes or longer to fall asleep, or they might also find it harder to stay asleep. They feel tired throughout the day and worry about sleep constantly. Some other ways insomnia affects your health are causing irritation, stress, anxiety, inattention, headaches, and gastrointestinal issues.

Why Does Menopause Cause Insomnia?

Aforementioned, approximately 61% of menopausal women have sleep problems. Have you wondered what factors of menopause cause insomnia?

Hormone Changes

Progesterone is a sleep-producing hormone, and when ovaries produce lesser estrogen and progesterone levels during menopause, it leads to several changes in your lifestyle, particularly in your sleeping habits. While the body tries to adjust to the fluctuating hormone levels, women may often find it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. 

Hot Flashes

The most common side effects of menopause are hot flashes and night sweats. With progesterone and estrogen levels decreasing, women going through menopause have sudden increases and drops in their body temperature. This suggests a rise in your adrenaline level, the chemical responsible for your reaction to stress or a do-or-die situation. Your body often has difficulty adjusting to this sudden burst of energy, causing insomnia.

Medications

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Similar to natural chemical and hormonal changes, medications and supplements that you’re taking can also interfere with sleep. Insomnia is a common side effect of several medications. It is advisable for women who start a new medication during their menopause to know that it may contribute to their insomnia.

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How Can I Treat My Insomnia During Menopause?

There are several ways to treat insomnia in general, but if your insomnia is related to menopause, balancing your hormone levels is the best way to fight insomnia. Some of these options include:

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy - It is a medication that contains female hormones to compensate for the estrogen that your body stops making during menopause. Hormone replacement therapy is most often used to treat hot flashes and vaginal discomfort during menopause.
  • Low-Dose Birth Control - Low-dose birth control is used to stabilise hormone levels, which helps ease insomnia.
  • Low-dose antidepressants- Doctors may recommend low-dose antidepressants to alter your brain chemicals. This may help the women find some sleep.
  • Melatonin - Taking melatonin might also help control your sleep and wake cycles. 
  • Other Natural Ways - Some other natural ways to help with insomnia and restore your sleep cycle are keeping your bedroom cool, wearing loose clothing to bed, and avoiding certain foods that may cause sweating. Exercising regularly and avoiding excessive caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can also make a huge difference.

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Bring Certain Changes In Your Lifestyle

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  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule and try to stick to it
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Avoiding naps during the day will help
  • Exercise regularly, but avoid it before sleep
  • Avoid watching TV and other devices before bed

Should I See A Doctor For My Insomnia?

If you have been having trouble sleeping for months and feel that insomnia affects your daily life, it’s time to seek guidance from a doctor. Visiting a doctor will help you understand the reason behind your insomnia and whether there is a link to menopause. Getting a better sense of what contributes to the problem will help you find the best treatment.

For more such stories, stay tuned to HerZindagi!
Disclaimer

Your skin and body like you are unique. While we have taken all measures to ensure that the information provided in this article and on our social media channels is credible and expert verified, we recommend you consult a doctor or your dermatologist before trying a home remedy, quick hack or exercise regime. For any feedback or complaint, reach out to us at compliant_gro@jagrannewmedia.com