Are you having trouble sleeping because you’re going through Chronic insomnia menopause? You’re not the only one who feels this way.
For women, menopause is a time of significant hormonal, physical, and psychological change, and all of this change can disrupt sleep.
Around 12% of women complain about their sleep on a regular basis. As women reach their late 40s and early 50s, the percentage rises considerably to 40%1.
Women report the biggest sleep problems during perimenopause and postmenopause, when sleep disturbances become more widespread and worsen.
Menopause occurs one year after a woman’s menstrual cycles have stopped, which occurs around the age of 52. During perimenopause, a period of seven to 10 years3 before menopause, a woman’s ovaries gradually reduce the production of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone.
These hormonal changes can lead to sleep problems, which can last well into postmenopause (the time after menopause).
Disturbances of Chronic insomnia menopause
The following are examples of sleep disturbances:
- Having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep (awakening during the night)
- Getting up early in the morning
- Total sleep time is reduced.
- Overall sleep quality (non-restorative)
- Problems with a sense of well-being Problems with overall performance
- During the day, you may feel sleepy or tired.
During the perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause, sleep problems are prevalent. The percentage of women who have sleep disturbances during menopause varies between 28 and 63 percent.
Self-reporting tends to reveal underestimating of total sleep time and number of arousals, with overestimation of time taken to fall asleep, compared to laboratory sleep research, which may account for the broad range.
Overall, studies demonstrate that sleep issues are more common during the menopausal transition, and that they are closely linked to the prevalence of flushes and sweats.
Causes of Chronic insomnia menopause
Menopausal symptoms range from hot flushes and sweats (vasomotor symptoms) to anxiety and low mood, with anxiety contributing to difficulties falling asleep and depression leading to non-restorative sleep and early morning waking.
Menopausal sleep disruption, on the other hand, has been suggested as a possible cause of anxiety and depression. Estrogen deficiency can also induce sleep disturbances by causing joint aches and pains, as well as bladder difficulties such as passing pee at night.
Because progesterone acts on brain circuits to induce sleep, menopausal progesterone reduction may have a role in sleep disturbance. Melatonin, another important sleep hormone, declines with age.
Melatonin secretion is regulated in part by oestrogen and progesterone, and levels drop during perimenopause, aggravating the problem.
Apnoea (sleep apnea) is a condition in which
In the past, sleep apnoea was thought to be a male-specific sleeping problem, but that perception is changing.
Night sweats and hot flushes have been associated with an increased risk of sleep apnea in studies, and it appears to be more common in women who have undergone surgical menopause than in women who have gone through natural menopause.
It may also be linked to weight gain, with progesterone perhaps playing a role. Progesterone influences muscular action in the back of the throat as well as breathing stimuli, therefore a decrease in progesterone may contribute to partial upper airway blockage and decreased breathing drive.
Snoring and gasping aren’t the only symptoms of sleep apnoea. In addition to headaches, sleeplessness, melancholy or anxiety, and daytime weariness, sleep apnoea in women can cause headaches, insomnia, despair or anxiety. While sleeping, not every lady will snore or snort loudly.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Another symptom is restless legs syndrome (RLS), which affects nearly twice as many women as it does men. At night, sufferers experience tingling, creepy crawly sensations in their legs.
According to one research of RLS patients, 69% of post-menopausal women thought their symptoms were worse than before menopause.
However, it’s unclear whether restless leg syndrome causes sleep problems or if women who have trouble sleeping are more aware of the condition.
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