If you’re having problems trying to get to sleep, you’re far from alone. Up to 35% of people deal with insomnia briefly, up to 20% deal with it for under three months, and 10% deal with it routinely for over three months.
Insomnia affects people of all ages but is more common as you get older, and women get insomnia more frequently than men.
For women, hormones often play a role in sleeping disorders, and it can be particularly problematic with hormonal changes connected with menopause.
To better understand how hormonal changes can affect your sleep, let’s examine the common causes of insomnia, the changes hormones can cause, and the treatments.
If you live in the Lake Mary, Florida, area and are dealing with hormone-related sleep problems, you can find help at the private practice of OB/GYN Christopher K. Quinsey, MD, and our skilled medical team.
Common causes of insomnia
Sleep is an important part of your life, but sadly there are many factors that can affect how much sleep you get, or if you get any at all:
- Stress related to work, traumatic events, and personal issues
- Traveling long distances, which can affect your circadian rhythms
- Sleeping at odd times, taking naps during the day, and getting stimulated just before bed
- Eating just before you go to bed, which can cause discomfort and related digestive issues
- Anxiety and depression disorders, which directly affect how much sleep you get at night
- Medical conditions such as chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and acid reflux
- Medications like those for asthma and high blood pressure, as well as some pain, allergy, weight loss, and cold drugs
- Anything you eat or drink with enough quantities of caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine
The effects menopause can have on sleep
Menopause is the end of your menstrual cycles when your body reduces the reproductive hormones it produces. These hormonal changes can affect your sleep cycle in many different ways:
It’s fairly common for women to get hot flashes and night sweats during the years leading up to menopause (perimenopause) and even 4-5 years postmenopause.
Changes in mood are common during menopause, affecting up to 23% of women. Dealing with the anxiety and depression connected with it can affect how you sleep.
The hormonal changes brought on by menopause can increase your chances of developing obstructive sleep apnea, which can also lead to daytime fatigue due to the lack of proper sleep.
As many as 60% of menopausal women deal with insomnia and other sleep-related problems, and many end up with chronic sleep problems related to the other issues we mentioned above.
Methods of treatment
Treating menopause symptoms can reduce your issues with sleep, but there are some lifestyle changes that can help as well. Here are some of them:
- Maintaining a healthy weight and diet
- Avoiding specific food and drinks close to bedtime
- Using the bathroom before bed
- Dressing in lightweight nightwear
- Developing a routine for getting back to sleep if you get up too early
- Reducing stress, which you can manage with massage and yoga
- Controlling the temperature in your bedroom (keeping it around 65 degrees)
Menopause can cause sleeping problems, but we can help. If you’re looking for better rest and a reduction in symptoms related to menopause, make an appointment with Dr. Quinsey and our team today.