Why is sleep disturbed during menopause?
Menopause can be a wonderful and fulfilling stage for a woman, but can sometimes be clouded by undesirable associated symptoms such as weight gain, irritability, depression, hot flashes, or sleep disturbances. We tell you why this phenomenon that prevents restful sleep happens and how to minimize this symptom, perhaps less known, but that can trigger major problems in a woman's life during menopause.
Menopause and sleep
Although other associated symptoms are more famous, sleep problems during menopause in women are very common. Dr. Oscar Larrosa Gonzalo, Clinical Neurophysiologist, expert in Sleep Medicine and head of the Sleep Medicine Unit (MIP), explains that "insomnia symptoms are frequently the most destabilizing phenomenon of the quality of life of the changes that are caused in menopause and postmenopause, and may be transient or chronic."
As we suspected, hormonal fluctuations are the main causes of insomnia in menopause "the hormonal changes of menopause and perimenopause most linked to insomnia are the decrease in secretion of estrogens and progesterone and the absence of ovarian androgens, increases in secretion of follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing (LH) in the pituitary gland and decrease in stimulating thyroid hormone (TSH), also secreted in the pituitary gland ”states the expert in Sleep Medicine. All this convoluted biological process that a woman experiences at this stage of life is responsible for the blank nights of many of us.
We are not just talking about great difficulty falling asleep, but interruptions during rest that can occur due to the so-called night awakenings greatly affect the quality of life and are the episodes that women suffer the most at this time. "The most frequent picture of insomnia around menopause is that of nighttime awakenings, and there may sometimes be difficulties in the initial reconciliation of sleep, being linked most of the time, especially awakenings, to episodes of hot flashes and profuse night sweats, often accompanied by palpitations, ”says Dr. Larrosa Gonzalo. An unappetizing panorama that, according to the expert in Sleep Medicine, can be alleviated through certain tips and tools. Not everything is lost!
How can menopause sleep disturbance be avoided?
There are a number of mechanisms, according to experts, that They can alleviate those sleep disturbances that decrease the quality of life of women by bringing with them sequels such as irritability, tiredness, discouragement and fatigue, among others. "Sleep disturbances caused by hot flashes generally remit with hormone replacement therapy, but this in many cases may be inadvisable for other health circumstances or menopausal women do not want to institute it," says Dr. Larrosa Gonzalo. "The intake of soy isoflavones and root extracts of certain plants can help control symptoms, and, if the above is not effective, there are medications that help control sleep disturbances secondary to hot flashes, which should be controlled by specialists with experience in its management ”continues the expert.
Dr. Larrosa Gonzalo also lists us a series of non-drug measures that can help minimize insomnia caused by blissful hot flashes:
- Wear light clothing to sleep and take care of the temperature in the room. Try not to exceed 18ºC, to avoid interruptions or awakenings due to hot flashes.
- Proper nutrition and the practice of exercise (it seems that better than enough intensity, appropriate to each one) improves the preparation of the female body for these phenomena.
- Avoid consuming stimulant products before bed. This is especially important in perimenopause.
- Cognitive behavioral psychological therapies and activities like yoga and the like help control sleep disorders.
Always consult your specialist doctor if your sleep disturbances at menopause are affecting your quality of life. Avoid drinking coffee or tea and other stimulants the hours before bedtime, exercise and eat a healthy dietThese keys together with good sleep hygiene are very important to control the effects of hormonal fluctuations that make you unable to fall placidly, and throughout the night, in the arms of Morpheus. Make sure you have a good rest and live this new stage in the best way, in fullness and harmony. In balance, never better said, is the secret.