Coping with the menopause and insomnia
Many women who have enjoyed years of good sleep may suddenly find that, as they approach the menopause, their sleep pattern suddenly goes out of kilter.
Insomnia is one of the most problematic symptoms of the menopause, and is caused by fluctuating hormones that disrupt sleep. Many women also experience hot flushes during the night. This is caused by a surge of adrenaline to the brain, that can wake you up, increase your temperature and make you sweat, making comfortable slumber difficult to achieve.
Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to combat symptoms that interfere with sleep.
At the very least, you should make sure your sleeping environment is both relaxing and restful. This means having a comfortable bed, including a supportive mattress and pillow, and the appropriate weight of duvet for the time of year. Sleep disorders, including sleep apnea and snoring, are often more prevalent during the menopause, so having a comfortable and supportive mattress and pillow is especially crucial if you experience these symptoms.
Since the menopause can play havoc with your body temperature, keeping your room as cool as possible can make you feel more comfortable at night. Wear breathable, cotton bed clothes to stop you getting hot, and if you experience sweats during the night, a damp cloth kept in some water at the side of the bed can be useful to cool yourself down, if necessary.
Around one-fifth of women experience symptoms of depression or anxiety during the menopause, so try to make your sleeping environment calming and uplifting. Bright and attractive cushions, bedding or curtains can be mood enhancing, while a couple of plants or candles dotted around the bedroom can also lift your spirits during this time.
Although there are plenty of measures you can take to reduce insomnia from occurring during the menopause, if lack of sleep is starting to affect your daily life, always speak to your GP about it. Nobody should have to suffer, and there are different treatments available that can help to address unwanted symptoms.