Sleep And Menopause
Menopause is a stage in life when a woman stops having her monthly menstrual cycle (i.e., periods).
Menopause is a natural part of life that all women go through, some with more difficulty than others.
It is a normal part of aging and symbols the end of a woman's reproductive years.
Menopause typically occurs in a woman's late 40s to early 50s. Symptoms of m enopause are as different and individual as women themselves. The duration and severity of symptoms of menopause is variable.
A woman’s body stops producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone when she goes through menopause. The loss of these hormones brings about various symptoms, including hot flashes that is an abrupt feeling of warmth, which spreads over the body, and sweating, which is related to the hot flashes.
Hot flashes are the best-known symptom of menopause. Hot flashes are sudden waves of body heat, usually in the face or chest. Approximately 75% of menopausal women experience hot flushes, which can last for five years.
Hot flashes and sweating can make it difficult for women to sleep. Approximately 40% of menopausal women have sleep problems caused by hot flushes. Sleeping difficulties can lead to other problems, such as daytime drowsiness.
What are Menopause sleep disorders causes?
The causes for menopause sleep disorders can be divided into psychological and physical. Psychological aren’t as common as physical; in fact, it’s normally accepted that physical causes are responsible for menopause sleep disorders in most women.
Psychological causes for menopause sleep disorders:
Overwork, emotional daily stress, and tiredness can cause menopause sleep disorders. Emotional steadiness is spoiled when these factors combine and get out of control.
Therefore, these could disturb your body functioning, producing alterations in metabolism that will lead to menopause sleep disorders. Usually these cases are temporary and menopause sleep disorders stops when the stressful time ends.
Physical causes for menopause sleep disorders:
Menopause sleep disorders are mostly caused by disturbed hormone levels. Estrogen declination causes a variety of physical side effects including a decrease in serotonin (chemical in the brain), which is used to create melatonin (sleep hormone).
Without a balanced level of estrogen, the body is not able to produce the right amount of neither serotonin nor melatonin. Therefore maintaining a balanced estrogen level is important to control and prevent menopause sleep disorders.
Imbalanced hormonal levels are the most common cause for nervousness; there are a variety of secure and efficient treatments for it.
Symptoms Of Menopause:
One of the symptoms of menopause are, typical psychological problems such as anxiety, overreacting to small problems, forgetfulness difficulty in concentrating, quickly being irritated, and mood swings.
Other events, such as worries about elderly relatives, divorce or widowhood, retirement, children growing up and moving out of the house occur around the period of menopause.
Also some problems may be caused indirectly because of sleep problems. To deal with emotional symptoms you should exercise regularly. This will help maintain your hormonal balance and preserve bone strength.
Talking to other women, who experience menopause problems, can help with emotional symptoms. Women approaching menopause often complain about memory loss and inability to concentrate.
Sleep Problems During Menopause:
During menopause, insomnia or disturbed sleep may be experienced. It can take many forms, including difficulty to fall asleep or awakening during the night. Menopause can lead to exhaustion during the day.
Intercourse Problems During Menopause:
Vaginal dryness and less elastic tissue are common symptoms of menopause, because of the effect of a decreased estrogen level. Vaginal dryness can cause pain and frustration during intercourse.
Interest in intercourse may decline and a requirement for more stimulation to reach orgasm is also very common. Vaginal lubricants can make intercourse less painful.
Urinary Problems During Menopause:
The chance of incontinence increases with age and there is evidence that estrogen loss plays a role. During menopause, the tissues in the urinary tract also change, sometimes leaving women more at risk to automatic loss of urine, particularly if certain chronic illnesses or urinary infections are also present.
Exercise, coughing, laughing, lifting heavy objects, or similar activities that put pressure on the bladder, may cause small amounts of urine to leak. Lack of regular exercise during menopause may contribute to this condition. It's important to know that bladder training is a simple and effective treatment for these symptoms
The treatment for the symptoms related to menopause has been hormone therapy (HT). HT consists of estrogen given as a pill, patch, or vaginal cream, either alone or combined with progesterone.
However, estrogen-progesterone caused an increased risk of breast cancer diagnosis. Estrogen alone did not increase breast cancer, but the study also found that therapy with estrogen alone brings an increase in the risk of stroke in older women.
The latest recommendation for HT for menopause symptoms such as hot flashes is to use HT in its lowest dosage, consistent with the indication for use, with periodic re-evaluation with your physician.
To improve sleep during menopause:
- Keeping your bedroom well-ventilated to prevent night sweats and disturbed sleep
- Staying cool during hot flushes by wearing loose clothing to bed
- Exercising regularly but not right before sleep.
- Avoiding certain foods that may cause sweating, especially right before bedtime.
- Maintaining a regular bedtime schedule, including going to bed at the same time every night.
- Avoiding excessive caffeine.
- Avoiding naps during the day, which can prevent you from sleeping well at night.