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Sleep Disorders in Postmenopausal Women

Many postmenopausal women report having sleep disorders after menopause. If you're suffering from a sleep disorder, it's worth learning about the various symptoms and causes. Read on to find out more about sleep disorders in postmenopausal women.

Postmenopausal sleep disorders are mostly caused by disturbed hormone levels

What Is a Sleeping Disorder? How Do I Know if My Sleeping Disorder Is Related to Menopause?

Quick Fact:

If you have previously struggled with sleep problems, these problems can increase in severity during postmenopause.

Sleeping disorders are ailments affecting normal sleeping patterns. Sleep disorders can affect psychological and physical function, resulting in insomnia, snoring and sleep apnea.

Many women find their sleep is restless and disturbed after menopause. Symptoms may include waking up more often than normal, tossing and turning all night, and a general inability to fall asleep.

What Causes Sleep Problems during Menopause?

The causes for sleep disorders in postmenopausal women can be broadly divided into the psychological and physical.

  • Psychological. Overwork, emotional daily stress, and tiredness can cause sleep problems at night, regardless of whether a woman is postmenopausal or not. Luckily, cases resulting from stress are mostly temporary and the sleeping problems disappear when the stress eases.

  • Physical. The majority of postmenopausal sleep disorders are caused by imbalanced hormone levels. Declining estrogen causes a variety of side effects, including a decrease in the hormone serotonin, which is used to create melatonin (a sleep hormone).

Because sleeping disorders during postmenopause tend to get progressively worse without treatment, prevention is important.

What Can Postmenopausal Women Do About Sleep Disorders?

Here's a list of tips on reducing the affects of sleeping disorders:

  • Keep your bedroom well-ventilated
  • Stay cool by wearing loose clothing to bed
  • Exercise regularly but not right before sleep
  • Avoid food right before bedtime
  • Maintain a regular bedtime schedule
  • Avoid excessive caffeine
  • Avoid naps during the day, which can prevent you from sleeping well at night.

Sometimes a simple change in habit or lifestyle can relieve sleep disorders in postmenopausal women. In general, maintaining a healthy body is the main key to getting rid of sleep disorders. The body needs to be healthy to have the best chance of maintaining stable hormonal levels.

In addition to lifestyle changes there are a range of pharmaceutical and alternative medicines that can help reduce sleep disorders.Get more about sleep disorders relating to postmenopausal women.

How Are My Sleeping Problems Affecting My Family?

Find out about the symptoms and side effects of sleeping problems and how your family is impacted, as well as some helpful tips for relief.

Common Sleep Disorders in Women

Keep nodding off during the day? Wide-eyed at night? You may be suffering from a sleep disorder. Learn about the 4 most common here.

Wearisome Symptoms of Sleep Disorders

Know what to expect during menopause. If you find that you are tossing and turning all night and exhausted, then you may want to read up on these 5 common

Sources:
  • Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • Walsleben, Joyce M.D. "Ask the sleep expert: menopause and insomnia". National Sleep Foundation.
  • "Your Guide to Healthy Sleep". National Institute of Health, April 2006.