Sleep Problems In Menopause

It is common for women to experience sleep problems, such as insomnia and disturbed sleep, during menopause; one of the main causes of poor sleep is night sweats. A lack of sleep can cause daytime tiredness and lack of energy, poor concentration and an increased risk of anxiety.

As well as causing night sweats, hormonal changes in the body can also contribute to sleep problems linked to lower levels of magnesium; magnesium helps the muscles to relax and decreased levels may make it more difficult to fall asleep. Lower levels of progesterone can also affect your ability to fall and stay asleep.

Dealing with sleep problems

It's often possible to address sleep issues without the need for treatment. If you're having issues with sleep during menopause, here are some tips, which may be helpful:

  • keep your bedroom cool and sleep with the window open to reduce night sweats
  • take time to relax in the evenings and wind down before you go to bed
  • avoid caffeine in the evenings
  • exercise daily (but not during the evenings, as exercise is a stimulant)
  • try some stress management techniques if you are struggling with stress; these may include massage, meditation, exercises such as yoga or simply taking time out to read, listen to music or enjoy a peaceful warm bath
  • try to get into a sleep routine, so that you're going to bed and getting up at the same time each day
  • eat a healthy and balanced diet; try to ensure you take in enough calcium and magnesium (good sources of calcium include dairy products and leafy green vegetables and magnesium can be found in nuts, seeds, bananas and fish)

If you experience frequent bouts of insomnia or a lack of sleep is affecting your daily life and your health and wellbeing, do not hesitate to see your GP.

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