Menopause And Sleep Problems

It is common for women to experience sleep problems in the run up to menopause. In most cases, disturbed nights result from symptoms of the menopause, such as hot flushes and night sweats. Anxiety, depression and stress can also contribute to sleepless nights.

How do I know if I have insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder, which makes it difficult to fall and stay asleep; if you regularly wake during the night, you find it hard to get to sleep or you have irregular sleeping patterns from night to night, you may have insomnia. Other symptoms of insomnia include waking up feeling like you haven't slept very well and feeling tired during the day. In the short term, insomnia tends to affect your energy levels and your mood; however, in the long-term, it can have more serious implications for your physical and mental health. A lack of sleep can increase your risk of depression and anxiety, compromise your immunity and affect your levels of concentration and motivation.

Dealing with insomnia during menopause

Here are some tips to help you deal with symptoms of menopause and improve sleep patterns:

  • try to get into a routine of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day
  • avoid napping during the day
  • wear light clothing and sleep with a window open or a fan
  • try to avoid caffeine in the evenings
  • relax in the evenings
  • create a peaceful and calm environment in your bedroom; avoid flashing lights and sounds and don't check emails or watch TV in bed
  • try to avoid anything that will stress you out before you go to bed
  • have a hot drink (decaffeinated) and a warm bath before you go to bed
  • try to exercise on a daily basis, but avoid exercising in the evenings
  • see your GP if you struggle to sleep on a regular basis and self-help techniques are ineffective

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