Menopause is a four-letter word for many women. In addition to mood swings, night sweats, hot flashes, cold feet and hands, and dry skin, many women experience insomnia. The cause of sleepless nights is primarily due to hormonal changes. Fortunately, you don’t have to resign yourself to living with the tossing and turning. Follow our tips for overcoming menopausal insomnia so you can get that peaceful night of sleep you thought wasn’t possible.
Hormonal Changes During the transition from perimenopause through menopause, a woman's production of estrogen and progesterone decreases. One of the many roles these hormones play is helping you sleep. When these sleep-promoting hormones drop, women find their ability to fall asleep and stay asleep to be negatively impacted.
Hot Flashes A hot flash is caused by a surge of adrenaline in response to your body dealing with a drastic decrease in hormones. As a result, you experience an intense feeling of warmth especially in the face, neck and chest, along with profuse sweating. When a hot flash happens during the night, you wake up feeling quite uncomfortable and your body often finds it difficult to recover from this sudden spike in energy, making it difficult to fall back asleep.
Treatment and Solutions While there are no concrete “cures” for insomnia related to menopause, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of falling asleep and staying asleep.
Create a Bedroom That Encourages Sleep
- The cooler the room temperature, the better; 65° is typically the temperature many find to be effective.
- Avoid unnecessary distractions such as the buzzing and blinking lights of cell phones that can alert your brain even when you’re asleep.
- Keep things quiet by silencing grandfather clocks, ticking clocks, radios and other unnecessary sounds.