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Menopause impacting sleep

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2022 9:30 am
by Guest Posts
I never sleep more than 4 hours continuously in the night since hitting menopause – I am on HRT. Is this something that might get better once I am through the menopause? Thanks (Karen)

Re: Menopause impacting sleep

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2022 10:02 am
by Dr Sarah Gilchrist
Hi Karen

I'm sorry to hear you are experiencing poor sleep since your menopause began. Unfortunately poor sleep it is a common symptom of the peri-menopause and menopause, however there are some useful strategies which may help:

Wear breathable light clothing to bed e.g. light cotton pyjamas and consider keeping an extra set near your bed.

Assess your sleep system: bed, pillow, mattress, duvet. Is it comfortable? Are the materials too light/too heavy (e.g. duvet tog)? Avoid heavy, insulating blankets. Consider if you can you change your sleep system according to the seasons/symptom severity to help reduce night sweats?

Use a fan or air conditioning to cool the room temperature. Ideally have the room temp 18-20°C before sleep.

Have a cool bag by the bed with ice packs, cold drink, ice cubes, cold flannel etc. to help with night sweats.

Try lying on a cool floor to reduce temperature. Keep lights dim and be awake for as short a time as possible. Return to bed to sleep.

Eat healthily. Avoid large meals, especially before bedtime. Some foods that are spicy or acidic may trigger hot flashes. Try foods rich in soy as they might minimize hot flashes.

Maintain a regular, normal weight.

Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol, especially before bedtime.

Accept you can’t stop the menopause from happening but you can manage the symptoms to a certain extent.

Consider seeking medical guidance on hormone replacement therapy if symptoms are particularly life affecting.

In attempting to improve your sleep quality and quantity, remember sleep is an entirely individualised process. What works for one person to improve sleep may not work for someone else. Also, how you cope and respond to poor sleep is unique to you and may change throughout your life. It’s important to try the suggested techniques if you are suffering from poor sleep, but try one idea at a time so you know what does or doesn’t work for you. Don’t persevere with an aspect of the suggested sleep strategies if it’s keeping you awake and causing more stress and ultimately poor sleep. I