Hot Flashes And Sleep Problems
One cause of menopause-related sleeplessness is hot flashes. Fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone that occur during perimenopause and menopause can cause hot flashes in about 85 percent of American women. When they strike during the night, they can wreak havoc on sleep, explains Michael Decker, PhD, RN, an associate professor of nursing and a sleep disorder specialist at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Typically, hot flashes that occur during the night can be associated with drenching night sweats that lead to awakening from sleep. Some women even have to change clothes or bed linens. This amount of activity occurring in the middle of the night makes it difficult to resume sleep, resulting in insomnia, Decker adds.
Does Sleep Return To Normal After Menopause
In the postmenopause stage , your ovaries no longer produce the sleep-enhancing hormone, progesterone, but continue to produce oestrogen albeit at low levels.With the calming of hormonal irregularity, most sleep problems and insomnia eventually improve. However, postmenopause is different for every woman, and for some, insomnia may continue for a while .Since quality rest is vital to maintaining your overall health, sleep problems can be hugely debilitating. A lack of sleep can make you feel anxious, depressed and irritable, affect your productivity, lead to forgetfulness, and deplete your energy levels.If you would like to find out more information on sleep health and how to improve it, we highly recommend visiting our sleep hub. You can also learn more about natural remedies for overcoming menopausal insomnia here.
Sleep Problems And The Menopause
Poor sleep has long-term effects including heart disease diabetes, dementia and obesity, reduced immunity and even cancer. The neuropsychological effects of acute sleep deprivation have been consistently shown to be deleterious.;
These effects include the following:
- A decreased reaction time,
- An increase of repetitive and negative thoughts,
- Impaired sense of humour,
- Increased negativity with with enhanced memory for adverse events, and
- Increased distractibility
The menopause brings particular challenges for women, including vasomotor symptoms, mood changes and Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause . Sleep apnoea, which although more common in men has been found to worsen after the menopause, even when controls are allowed for weight and smoking.;
The time of a womans life when her ovaries stop releasing an egg on a monthly cycle, and her periods cease
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How To Cope With Hormones And Sleep Problems During Perimenopause
According to;CDC research, 25% of perimenopausal women have trouble falling asleep more than four nights per week. Even more have trouble staying asleep, and over 50% of surveyed women dont wake up feeling rested during most of the week. These numbers are powerful confirmation that sleep duration and sleep quality are often serious concerns during the transition to menopause, and theyre affecting huge numbers of women across the globe.
If you are approaching menopause and;struggling with hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, or any other nighttime discomforts, your hormones could be to blame. In fact, sleep problems are often the first noticeable signs that a woman is entering perimenopausethe years leading up to the complete cessation of your menstrual cycle.
These sleep problems can be frustrating, disruptive, and unhealthy for your mind and body. But by understanding the cause of your;perimenopause symptoms, practicing at-home strategies to lessen their severity, and seeking treatment as needed, you can go through the menopause transition with less exhaustion and more restful nights.
Sleep Problems Caused By Perimenopause And Menopause
Quality sleep is very important for having adequate energy level, and a healthy weight as well as optimal hormonal balance. About 40% of women going through perimenopause experience sleep disturbances during the night. Up to 60% of post-menopausal women experience sleep disturbances. Two types of sleep disturbances that can be experienced are restless leg syndrome and insomnia. The mind may be affected by sleep deprivation even if there is not a feeling of tiredness during the day.
Hormone therapy may help alleviate sleep disturbances in menopausal women. Estrogen and progesterone replacements are especially useful for helping women sleep through the night. Antidepressants and hypnotic agents are possible alternatives to hormone therapy and may help alleviate sleep deprivation. For an all-natural approach to a restful nights sleep, there are herbal supplements such as valerian and melatonin that can help treat the sleep deprivation experienced during menopause. Taking dietary supplements and antioxidants are also important for menopausal women as they help increase womens mental performance during the day and contribute to a better quality of life. If you are perimenopausal or menopausal and have sleep issues, you need to pay attention to your thyroid and to your weight. Losing weight and balancing your thyroid hormone levels will improve your sleep.
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Hot Flashes During Perimenopause
Most women don’t expect to have hot flashes until;, so it can be a big surprise when they show up earlier, during perimenopause. Hot flashes sometimes called hot flushes and given the scientific name of vasomotor symptoms are the most commonly reported symptom of perimenopause. They’re also a regular feature of sudden menopause due to surgery or treatment with certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs.
Hot flashes tend to come on rapidly and can last from one to five minutes. They range in severity from a fleeting sense of warmth to a feeling of being consumed by fire “from the inside out.” A major hot flash can induce facial and upper-body flushing, sweating, chills, and sometimes confusion. Having one of these at an inconvenient time can be quite disconcerting. Hot flash frequency varies widely. Some women have a few over the course of a week; others may experience 10 or more in the daytime, plus some at night.
Most American women have hot flashes around the time of menopause, but studies of other cultures suggest this experience is not universal. Far fewer Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian women report having hot flashes. In Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, women appear not to have any at all. These differences may reflect cultural variations in perceptions, semantics, and lifestyle factors, such as diet.
What About Conventional Medicine
With sleep problems being such a common complaint, a range of conventional medicines has been developed to help with this. However, with the menopause being the root of the problem, solving the night sweats or hormone imbalance will provide greater relief.
It is advisory to speak to your doctor about taking conventional sleep medicines as many of these have side-effects and can only be used short-term. Your doctor will be able to find a solution most suited to your needs.
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What Causes Insomnia During Menopause Do Hormones Cause Insomnia
Some of this waking can;be linked to menopausal symptoms. Anxiety and worry;can prevent us getting to sleep, and when we finally get to nod off hot flushes can wake us again. Our sleep may also be disturbed by having to get up during the night to go to the toilet. It is also common to wake in the early hours of the;morning, particularly if we go;to sleep in an anxious state of mind with niggling worries and concerns.; Women often say that they can put up with night sweats, but they cant cope with the lack of sleep. This continuous lack of sleep can cause us to become depressed.
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A relaxing bath can be a great way to unwind.
How Hormones Cause Sleep Problems During Perimenopause
Sleep involves a number of complex hormonal interactions in the body. While were asleep, our bodies produce higher levels of growth hormone, ADH, melatonin, oxytocin, aldosterone, and prolactinchemicals that control everything from urine production to tissue repair to the content of our dreams. Additionally, sleep helps our bodies regulate levels of leptin, ghrelin, and insulin in order to signal and manage hunger. And we produce;cortisol, a powerful stress hormone, shortly before we wake up to help our minds feel alert.
Female sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone are also crucial to the bodys sleep cycle. When these hormones gradually decrease during perimenopause,;women may experience sleep problems;due to the way these powerful hormones interact with other chemicals in the brain and body. Significantly, sex hormones seem to have a significant impact on temperature regulation, for example, which could explain why hot flashes occur during the night for women in perimenopause. Disrupted temperature regulation would also result in shorter REM cycles and less restful sleep overall.
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Treatment And Prevention Of Bloating
You can reduce bloating by making various lifestyle adjustments. These changes in behavior may also help you prevent bloating from occurring.
- Change your diet: Avoid foods that cause bloating. These include fatty foods, vegetables known to cause extra gas, and dairy products. Also, skip overly processed foods, which have high levels of sugar and salt.
- Exercise more frequently: Try to work out several times a week, and keep your activity varied from cardiovascular exercises to strength-building ones.
- Skip chewing gum and carbonated beverages: These can fill up your stomach with air, leaving you with a bloated abdomen.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol: These can increase bloating.
- Drink plenty of water: You may experience bloating if you dont stay hydrated enough.
There are other ways to prevent and treat bloating that involve over-the-counter and prescription medications:
What Is The Glycemic Index Of Food And How Could This Affect Sleep
The glycemic index is a ranking of foods on a scale from 0 to 100 according to how much they raise blood sugar levels after eating them. Ive with knowledge of the GI and the glycemic load of foods. High-GI foods are those that are rapidly digested, absorbed, and metabolized, and cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Some examples of high-GI foods include anything made with processed grains and anything containing added sugars .
Low-GI foods dont cause your blood sugar and insulin levels to spike, and include plant foods such as most fruits and vegetables, legumes and beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Even plant foods that have a high GI such as bananas and watermelon are not likely bad for you when eaten in moderation.
Researchers hypothesize that high-GI foods cause insomnia because of the rapid spike and then crash of blood sugar levels. Essentially, what goes up must come down, and after blood sugar and insulin levels peak, they tend to drop, which can cause a lot of symptoms, including awakening from sleep. The researchers of this new study cite multiple studies supporting this theory.
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What Causes Bladder Problems In Perimenopause And Menopause
The simple answer is the;dramatic drop in oestrogen levels.Before perimenopause begins to disrupt your oestrogen levels, your pelvic floor and pelvic organs are being given a steady supply of oestrogen. This regular supply of oestrogen helps to keep your pelvic floor tissues/muscles strong and flexible. It also helps to preserve the strength of your bladder, which holds the urine, and your urethra, the tube that lets the urine exit your body.
The dramatic drop in oestrogen levels that you experience when perimenopause begins means that the support the oestrogen was supplying drops dramatically too. This can cause a weakening of the tissues and a thinning of the membranes. This deterioration of the urinary tract and vagina is known as;Urogenital Atrophy;and can happen due to aging as well as hormonal change. The loss of oestrogen can cause the bladder and the urethra to become weakened and the pelvic floor muscles to become lax and less supportive of the pelvic organs.;
If the bladder and urethra are weakened;it will affect their ability to control their normal urinary functions. The severity of the symptoms from this will vary from woman to woman and whether there are any other contributing factors present. Unfortunately, unlike some other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes and night sweats, urinary problems wont improve with age and are likely to get worse as a woman gets older.
Take a look at the information and tips below. I hope you find it useful.
How Is Insomnia Diagnosed
Your doctor will first ask you about your sleeping habits. This includes when you usually wake up, when you usually go to sleep, and how tired you are during the day. They may ask you to keep a sleep diary to track these behaviors over a period of time.
Your doctor will also perform a physical exam to check for any underlying conditions that may cause insomnia. In some cases, this means they will take a blood test.
If the cause cant be determined, your doctor may recommend that you stay the night at a sleep center. This allows your doctor to monitor your bodys activity while you sleep.
Although many of the causes for your frequent insomnia dont have true cures or treatments, there are a few things you can do to help invite better sleep.
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Here Are Some More Tips That Might Help You Avoid Hot Flashes Or Sleep Better Through Hot Flashes
- Keep your bedroom cool at night and wear loose, light pajamas made of natural fibers.
- Before bed, avoid spicy foods, which can make you sweat.
- Take it easy on the caffeine, especially later in the day.
It is extremely helpful to visit your doctor to discuss menopausal sleep disorders. The research on the importance of sleep is clear; we need it in order to function at our best. Please visit us to discuss your sleeping problems or the other issues associated with menopause.
Causes Of Bloating During Perimenopause And Menopause
Menopause symptoms can begin several years before you reach menopause. This time is known as perimenopause. Menopause is defined as the lack of a menstrual period for 12 concurrent months. This happens because your ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. After menopause, you can no longer get pregnant.
Most women experience menopause in their early 50s, though you can go through it earlier or later. Once you havent experienced a period for 12 months, youre considered postmenopausal.
Bloating may occur more frequently in perimenopause than during menopause or postmenopause. During perimenopause, your hormones are changing rapidly. That can lead to higher levels of estrogen. Estrogen causes your body to retain water, which can lead to bloating.
Bloating isnt the only symptom experienced by women going through perimenopause and menopause. Fluctuating hormones can also lead to:
- hot flashes
- swallowed air
- another health condition
Its likely that bloating after menopause is related to one of these factors rather than hormones. Thats because after you go through menopause, your hormones dont fluctuate as much as they did during perimenopause and menopause.
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Genitourinary Syndromes Of Menopause
A 2015 study revealed that 45%-63% of menopausal women experienced bladder and vaginal symptoms including nocturia , soreness and irritation, and dyspareunia . The decline in oestrogen leads to atrophic changes of the delicate tissues in the bladder and vagina, which can cause sleep disturbance.
Can Treating Menopause Improve Sleep
Two common menopause treatments include Estrogen Replacement Therapy , which increases estrogen, and Hormone Replacement Therapy , which increases estrogen and progesterone. Both of these treatments have proven effective in relieving menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, insomnia, and mood.
However, HRT poses serious risks for some women, particularly those who have had blood clots, strokes, heart attack, and certain types of cancer. As a result, doctors are recommended to prescribe HRT at the lowest effective dose and only to use it as a short-term treatment. Its important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of HRT, as there are many approaches for managing menopausal symptoms.
Lower doses of antidepressants and SSRIs, including fluoxetine, paroxetine, and venlafaxine, can relieve menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes. Some, like Bazedoxifene, may relieve hot flashes while also increasing sleep quality.
Melatonin, your bodys natural sleep hormone, can also be taken as an over-the-counter medication. Low doses of melatonin improved mood and sleep onset in postmenopausal women. Like estrogen and progesterone, melatonin also .
Cognitive behavioral therapy is also effective in relieving insomnia, including symptoms associated with menopause. In CBT, you work with a trained therapist to recognize the thoughts and behaviors that are negatively impacting your sleep, and learn to replace them with healthier behaviors that promote good sleep.
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Causes Of Sleep Disorders The Most Common Trigger Factors:
Most of the people experience sleeping problems caused by daily stress, schedules, and other outside factors. However, when these sleeping problems occur regularly and affect your daily life, they may refer to a sleeping disorder.
Depending on the kind of sleep disorder, you may have difficulty in falling asleep and feel exhausted throughout the day. The sleep deprivation can have negative effect on mood, energy, concentration and your overall health.
In some instances, sleep disorders can be a sign of other mental or medical conditions. These sleeping problems may disappear when treatment is attained for these underlying causes. When sleeping problems are not caused by other health conditions, treatment involves a combination of lifestyle changes and medical treatments. It is important to get a diagnosis and treatment immediately if you suspect to have a sleep disorder. When untreated, the sleep disorders negative effects can cause more serious health problems. They can also lower your performance results at work or at school, damage relationships, and impair the ability to perform daily activities.