Menopause is a time of major hormonal, physical and psychological change for women although menopausal symptoms vary from woman to woman. One year after menstrual periods have stopped, a woman reaches menopause, on average around the age of 50. Nearly half of midlife women in the United States—46% of those ages 40 to 54, and 48% of those ages 55 to 64—report sleep problems, according to a 2007 survey by the National Sleep Foundation. This survey found that, from peri-menopause to post-menopause, women report the most sleeping problems. They have more frequent insomnia symptoms and are more than twice as likely to use prescription sleep aids. Sleep problems are often accompanied by depression and anxiety. At Golden Gate Sleep Centers, Dr. Puja Thakkar offers numerous diagnostic and treatment options at her two locations in Danville and Fremont, California, helping patients get much-needed sleep. If you’re interested in how one of these methods might improve your sleep, call or use the online scheduling tool to request an appointment.
Reports of insomnia rise as women make the transition through midlife. Women’s perceptions of a decline in their quality of sleep during midlife may be due to the following factors:
Women’s actual or perceived decline in sleep quality as they move through the menopause transition tends to leave them feeling tired, which can put a serious damper on libido and basic motivation for sex.
Generally, post-menopausal women are less satisfied with their sleep and as many as 61% report insomnia symptoms according to the National Sleep Foundation. Snoring has also been found to be more common and severe in post-menopausal women. Snoring, along with pauses or gasps in breathing are signs of a more serious sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Changing and decreasing levels of estrogen cause many menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, which are unexpected feelings of heat all over the body accompanied by sweating. They usually begin around the face and spread to the chest affecting 75-85% of women around menopause. Prior to the hot flash, body temperature rises accompanied by an awakening. Hot flashes last on average three minutes leading to less sleep efficiency. Most women experience these for one year, but about 25% have hot flashes for five years. While total sleep time may not suffer, sleep quality does. Hot flashes may interrupt sleep and frequent awakenings cause next-day fatigue.
Dr. Thakkar’s goal is to help you develop a healthy pattern of sleep while managing menopausal symptoms. Don’t spend another night struggling, call Golden Gate Sleep Centers or use the online scheduling tool to get help.