Menopause is a major transition in every woman’s life. For some women, the transition is uneventful, but many women experience side effects that drastically impact their life.
At The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group, our experienced gynecology team understands how disruptive menopause and its symptoms can be. In this blog, we explain why menopause can cause sleep problems and what can be done to help you sleep well again.
Why sleep can be difficult during menopause
During menopause, your reproductive hormones begin decreasing. Their decline isn’t always smooth, and the fluctuations in your hormones can lead to a variety of symptoms that interfere with your sleep. These symptoms can include:
Many women experience recurrent hot flashes that make them uncomfortable. Hot flashes are sudden sensations of heat that spread throughout the body. These sensations can last from 30 seconds to five minutes.
Hot flashes that you experience during sleep are known as night sweats. As your body temperature rises, you might wake up feeling uncomfortable and overheated. Because the flashes also cause a surge of adrenaline in your body, you might find it difficult to go back to sleep.
Night sweats in particular can be difficult to manage, especially if you’re soaking your sheets every night and have to get up to change your clothing and bed linens.
Insomnia is a condition that describes difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep three nights a week or more.
These issues can make you feel drowsy during the day, which can lead to irritability and anxiousness.
Obstructive sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that affects your breathing while you sleep. When your body relaxes in sleep, the muscles in your throat can relax too much and obstruct your breathing.
People with obstructive sleep apnea often snore loudly and wake up multiple times a night gasping for breath.
Getting help for your menopause-related sleep issues
While the side effects of menopause can be overwhelming and disruptive to your life, we offer solutions to help you on your journey. Some of the available solutions include the following:
Hormone replacement therapy
Our gynecology team can determine if you’re a candidate for hormone replacement therapy. Taking supplemental estrogen with or without progesterone can help rebalance your hormone levels.
Supplemental hormones are available in a variety of forms, including pills, pellets, creams, and patches. When your hormone levels are stable, this can provide significant relief from hot flashes and night sweats.
Making changes to your bedtime routine can help keep you comfortable while you sleep. Establish a bedtime routine where you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Avoid caffeine and the use of electronics for at least an hour before bed.
Also, be sure to dress in lightweight clothing and keep a fan or the air conditioning on to stay cool during the night.
Speak with a specialist
If your partner complains about your loud snoring, or if you often feel daytime sleepiness, consult with a sleep disorder specialist. You might benefit from a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, which supplies extra air through a facemask you wear while you sleep.
Your dentist might also be able to provide you with an oral appliance that can keep your bottom jaw forward to prevent snoring and breathing issues while you sleep.
Menopause symptoms don’t have to take over your life. To get help, book an appointment online or over the phone with The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group today.