Menopause and sleep
3 in 4 women sleep worse during menopause. The most common menopause sleep problems are hot flashes at night, breathing problems like sleep apnea and menopause insomnia. As Dr Rebecca Robins, (PhD, researcher Harvard Medical School) explains: ”Those experiencing menopause commonly report hot flashes, which disrupt sleep, but also more insomnia than other life stages. Specifically, research shows that 61% report insomnia symptoms.”
Read more about what you can do to sleep better during menopause.
Insomnia during menopause
Insomnia is a real problem for many women during menopause. Up to 60% are impacted by insomnia. Hormonal changes that take place during the menopausal years is one factor that can contribute to insomnia as well as an increased risk of depression.
However, there are remedies. You can discuss hormone replacement therapy with your doctor for example. This means taking estrogen tablets to compensate for the lower production of this hormone. There are also a number actions we can take relating to our sleep habits and sleep hygiene to improve our sleep:
- 1. Food: some foods make sleeping difficult such as alcohol, caffeine and food that are difficult to digest. Some other foods, for example those that naturally contain melatonin, actually help us to sleep better.
- 2. Exercise: adding even 20-30 minutes of low intensity work-outs to your daily routine a few times a week can make a real difference to your sleep quality.
- 3. Habits and lifestyle: by switching off our electrical gadgets and establishing a sleep routine we can signal to our bodies that it's time to go to bed.
- 4. Mood and stress: stress makes sleep difficult and when we are tired we are more easily stressed. Beat the stress-sleep cycle by making sleep a priority.
- 5. Bedroom: make sure that your bedroom is a haven of peace. Keep it cool, dark and quiet as much as possible.
Hot flashes during menopause
Feeling hot and cold and night? 75-85% of all women suffer from hot flashes during menopause. This can unfortunately significantly reduce sleep quality and night comfort.
The reason for hot flashes is still under debate. Many link it to the decreased levels of estrogen, which tricks the hypothalamus (the temperature regulating region of the brain) into thinking that the body is overheating. The natural reaction from our body is to try to cool down. Our blood vessels dilate and blood flow to the skin increases which results in a flushed and sweaty feeling.
There are remedies however. Read more about what you can do to reduce the impact of hot flashes and about what makes for the best menopause pajamas.
READ MORE ABOUT HOT FLASHES AT NIGHT
Sleep apnea during menopause
Snoring is more common during the menopausal years and also more severe. Another breathing related sleep problem is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea means that your breathing stops and starts during the sleep which makes sleeping difficult and our sleep quality suffer as a result. If you think that you might suffer from sleep apnea you should contact your doctor as more health problems can develop if it’s left untreated.
Actions that can help alleviate the condition range from using breathing devices that open up the airways to lifestyle changes such as losing weight (there is a close link between over-weight and sleep apnea) as well as changing sleep positions.
The best menopause nightwear
What we wear to sleep can make a real difference to our sleep quality and duration. To alleviate hot flashes use breathable sleepwear that prevents heat build up. Dagsmejan's menopause nightwear is not only 6-8x more breathable than cotton. It also helps to cool you down through evaporative cooling and keeps you dry through moisture wicking. Made of the finest natural fibres, Dagsmejan is the best menopause pajamas to keep the ideal sleeping temperature night by night.
"Meanwhile I belong to the age at which a woman sweats a lot at night (menopause). With the night dress I sleep wonderfully, the heat is dissipated (I don't know how but I'm not sweating anymore) - that's sensational for me. I don't want to wear anything else at night anymore :-)"
— Cornelia —
"I am extremely satisfied with the top. Due to menopause I sometimes sweat very much at night. With the new top however I wake up dry again in the morning."
— Sabine —
"Bought this lovely top (colour is gorgeous) to match the pajama bottoms. Help enormously with night sweats due to the menopause. I can't recommend this top enough. Well worth the money as has helped me sleep a lot better at this awful time."
— Joanne —
"I am currently going through my menopause and have been woken with hot flashes most nights. Since wearing this menopause sleepwear I no longer get woken by night sweats, it is cool and light to wear. Highly recommended."
— Nicola —