Sleeping Problems & Menopause

Learn about the connection between sleeping problems and menopause from sleep specialist Priyanka Yadav, D.O. in this Howcast video.

Insomnia is a common complaint in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Up to 50 to 63 percent of postmenopausal women do complain about insomnia at night. Now, these complaints include trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and also having daytime drowsiness. A common problem leading to insomnia at night is hot flashes. Using hormone replacement therapy might reduce hot flashes at night, so it will help you to better maintain your sleep quality.

Even though women complain subjectively about their sleep quality, research has shown that sleep studies do not show any worsening of their sleep at night. Even though women subjectively complain that their sleep quality is not as good as it was before menopause, research has shown that sleep studies show that there is no objective worsening of their sleep at night. Being post menopausal does put you at risk for having other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, which can worsen the way you breathe at night while you’re asleep. So an evaluation by your physician is important to determine if this, in fact, is a sleep order that is contributing to insomnia in postmenopausal women.

Postmenopausal women are also found to have an increase in stress reactivity. This means that any little stressor, they can react abnormally to and have an over exaggerated response than the normal person. So treatment of this with the use of medication or behavioral therapy might be useful in helping to treat your insomnia at night.