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Insomnia and Night Sweats in Menopausal Women

Many women suffer from insomnia and night sweats during menopause. Insomnia can be caused by many things, such as hormonal changes during menopause, underlying medical conditions, mood disorders, and night sweats. Night sweats can cause insomnia in women by regularly waking them up during the night. This can make it hard to get a good night's sleep and to fall back asleep. It can also lead to exhaustion and fatigue.

What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia and Night Sweats in Menopausal Women

Insomnia is defined as the inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep. Insomnia can effect anybody, no matter their age, and can be caused by a range of factors. However, menopausal women are more likely to experience insomnia than other age groups.

Often, a menopausal woman's insomnia is brushed off as a symptom of night sweats. While night sweats can disturb a woman's sleep and lead to insomnia, they are not the only thing that can cause insomnia during menopause.

Menopause is characterized by a decrease in the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which ultimately leads to end of menstruation. One of these hormones' many roles in a woman's body is to facilitate sleep. As a woman ages and progresses through menopause, she may find it more difficult to fall asleep, or that her sleep schedule has changed.

Emotional and mental health problems impact nearly everyone, including menopausal women. If stress, depression, or anxiety is making it difficult for you to fall asleep or stay asleep, it is a good idea to address these conditions. Talking to someone you trust, seeing a therapist, using a creative outlet, and finding a release, such as through meditation or yoga, can help.

What Are Night Sweats?

Estrogen also plays a role in the body's thermoregulation. As menopause causes estrogen levels to fluctuate and decrease, a woman may experience vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. Night sweats are characterized by:

  • Perspiration covering the body
  • An increased heart rate
  • A follow-up feeling of cold or chills

How to Treat Insomnia and Night Sweats

Lifestyle steps that can help reduce the likelihood of night sweats include:

Insomnia and Night Sweats in Menopausal Women
  • Sleeping with a window open or a fan next to the bed
  • Sleeping in pajamas made from breathable fabric that wicks away sweat
  • Sleeping under thin blankets made of natural fibers that can be easily removed
  • Avoiding having hot, spicy foods before going to bed
  • Keeping a glass of cold water next to the bed
  • Reducing alcohol and tobacco use

Some steps to take for when you do experience night sweats include:

  • Taking a shower to rinse off sweat
  • Changing pajamas to feel clean
  • Drinking a cool glass of water
  • Relaxation techniques to promote healthy sleep patterns

However, lifestyle remedies do not work for everyone. It is important to see a doctor who can offer you further help to reduce night sweats and insomnia. Click on the following link for more information about this unpleasant symptom and learn how to treat night sweats effectively.

Reasons and Solutions for Night Sweats

Night sweats are caused by hormonal changes that occur during menopause. However, some lifestyle habits can increase the frequency and severity.

Night Sweats: What Are They and How Can I Avoid Them?

Night sweats often begin during perimenopause, the stage preceding menopause. They can be a disruptive and uncomfortable transitional symptom.

  • American Osteopathic Association. (2015). Don't Lose Sleep Over Night Sweats. Retrieved November 12, 2015, from
  • Walsleben, J. (2008). Menopause and Insomnia. Retrieved November 12, 2015, from