07 Nov Three Ways Menopause Could Be Affecting Your Sleep
The Center for Disease Control states that most people should be getting an average of seven to eight hours of sleep a night, but nearly a third of adults don’t. Getting a good night’s sleep gets more and more difficult for people of all genders as they age. For people that go through menopause, it gets even harder.
A 2016 study published in the Chinese Medical Journal found that approximately 55% of people who experience menopause experience severe trouble sleeping. It also found that there was a higher prevalence of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and teeth grinding among their study participants than they had expected. A study in the 2018 Nature and Science of Sleep Journal found that 26% of menopausal people experienced insomnia due to their menopause. There are several ways that menopause affects your sleep, and that how much you sleep affects the severity of your menopausal symptoms. If you are going through menopause or perimenopause, these are three ways that your changing hormones might be causing you to lose sleep and possible ways to help you fix your sleepless nights
Because your hormone levels are adjusting to their new levels, hot flashes are a frequent complaint of menopausal people. You will feel extreme, unexplained heat come over you, and will often wake you up. You are also likely to sweat when you have a hot flash while you are sleeping, making your pajamas and sheets uncomfortable to sleep in.
If you find that hot flashes are causing you a lot of distress at night, try turning down the temperature in your bedroom and drinking small amounts of cold water before bed to help your body cool off naturally. If those are not working, you may want to try natural treatments such as eating black cohosh or increased soy products, both of which are thought to minimize many of the symptoms of menopause. Though there are no clinical trials that have either supported or refuted the efficiency of these treatments, the North American menopause Society recommends giving them a try along with lifestyle changes.
Anxiety and depression might be other factors in keeping you awake at night. It’s not uncommon, according to the North American Menopause Society, due to the fluctuation of your hormones and changes that are going on in every part of your body. You may also find yourself grinding your teeth in your sleep. In addition, people who get a poor night’s sleep on a regular basis are much more likely to struggle with anxiety and depression, so it could be a cyclical issue. If anxiety is causing an unusual amount of trouble for your mental health, you may want to try talking to a doctor about medication or a mouth guard.
Caffeine & Alcohol Sensitivity
Caffeine and alcohol are known to be helpful in either staying awake or getting to sleep. However, they can also trigger hot flashes and make you feel more anxious. You may find yourself feeling much more sensitive to what caffeine and alcohol you do take in during the day while you are in perimenopause or menopause. It’s best to avoid caffeine and alcohol together in order to avoid triggering a hot flash. If you find yourself in need of a boost during the day, try taking a short nap instead of having a cup of coffee.
If these problems continue for more than three months, you should talk to your doctor about possible medical help for your symptoms to ensure that you are able to get a good night’s sleep again. You don’t have to live with these problems plaguing you for the duration of your transition into menopause.