I Can’t Sleep! How Menopause affects your Sleeping Patterns

I can’t sleep! a common complaint from women going through menopause and perimenopause.

Menopause is the permanent end of fertility and menstruation, and while it can cause unwanted symptoms, it is a completely natural biological process that isn’t necessarily a problem that needs to be solved but rather something that can be managed according to your individual needs.

What does menopause do to my sleep?

Menopausal symptoms such as; mood swings, hot flashes, insomnia, depression and anxiety, are all caused by the decline in female hormones estrogen and progesterone. For many women hot flashes cause them to feel hot all over the body and are generally accompanied by excessive sweating. Hot flashes can cause women to wake-up during the night, interrupting sleep and affecting sleep quality.

Menopausal women generally experience:

  • Shorter total sleep times by approximately 2 hours
  • Shallower or lighter sleep (less Slow Wave Sleep)
  • Trouble maintaining sleep rather than initial falling asleep
  • Especially worse in the second part of the night and they can take almost 4 times longer to fall back asleep
  • These menopausal related sleep problems can last beyond menopause and be compounded by age-related circadian rhythm processes that disrupt sleep

The constant interruption to sleep and frequent awakenings leads to many women experiencing fatigue during the day. This can lead to an exacerbation of a woman’s existing menopausal symptoms, increasing irritability, anxiety and depressive symptoms.

What can we do?

  • Cooldown – Open the windows, use a light duvet or use a fan or air conditioning. Keep your evening attire light and breathable
  • Make your bedroom a sleep haven – nice sheets, good curtains, no clutter or TV, quiet, some organic essential oils such as lavender.
  • Eat foods that help manage Menopause symptoms such as; organic fruits and vegetables (particularly broccoli, broccoli sprouts and cabbage), high fibre foods (nuts, ancient grains, seeds, and legumes), and foods high in omega-3 fats (salmon, sardines and flaxseed oil). Make sure to also be drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day.
  • Do relax breathing/meditation before bed – 5 minutes of mindful breathing from your belly. Pop on some relaxing music and place your hands on your stomach to feel it rising and falling.
  • Supplementation – certain vitamins and minerals have been shown scientifically to help. Especially Vitamin B5, B6, Magnesium and Vitamin C – preferably at once.

Kirsten Taylor, CEO of SleepDrops, worked extensively with menopausal women in her clinic before starting SleepDrops. She saw firsthand how menopause negatively affected women and their sleep, which is why she formulated specialised sleep products just for menopause. Our Menopause Survival Pack offers comprehensive support for day and night! Our Sleep Specialists can also offer FREE advice for you so call us today on 0800 345 999 to start your journey to better sleep and wellbeing.