Menopause and Insomnia: What You Can Do

It can start with hot flashes. And you’re more irritable lately. Then you find that you don’t sleep well at night anymore. Sound familiar? Many women have trouble with insomnia when they begin the process of menopause. It can be frustrating to deal with a lack of sleep at this already emotional and stressful time. But insomnia doesn’t have to be part of your life. Read on for information and some easy menopause insomnia remedies.

Does Menopause Cause Insomnia?

The first question we need to get out of the way is does menopause cause insomnia? The short answer? It can. Many women who are in perimenopause or have gone through menopause can experience insomnia for a variety of reasons relating to menopause. But some women do not experience this symptom at all, so it’s not a given that you will have insomnia once you reach menopause. And it’s also not a given that your insomnia is caused by menopause. So insomnia and menopause are often correlated. Confused yet? Read on to learn more about whether your insomnia and menopause symptoms are related.

Symptoms of Insomnia

First, let’s talk about the symptoms of insomnia so you know for sure that’s what you’re dealing with. Every person experiences different symptoms, but here are some of the most common ones.

  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Fatigue in the morning
  • Waking up earlier than usual in the morning
  • Feeling anxiety, irritability, and stress
  • Slugglishness during the day

Symptoms of Menopause

What about menopause? Most women recognize menopause when their periods stop, but menopause and perimenopause symptoms can begin up to 15 years before the end of a period. So not all women are aware that menopause could be part of their insomnia issues. So in case you need to know, here are some of the main symptoms of menopause.

  • Hot flashes happen to two out of three women during menopause or perimenopause
  • Increased irritablity
  • Urinating more often
  • Decrease in sexual interest or pain during intercourse
  • Sleeping problems

If these symptoms sound familiar, you should probably see a doctor to find out if you are experiencing perimenopause or menopause symptoms.

Menopause and Insomnia

Is Menopause Keeping You Up at Night?

Why Does Menopause Contribute to Insomnia?

Menopause causes some big changes to a woman’s body. Because hormone levels change during this time, it affects many areas of a woman’s life, including her sleeping patterns. That’s where insomnia due to menopause can come in.

Most women experience hot flashes or night sweats at some point during menopause. The adrenaline surge awakens the brain and causes sweating, which can be uncomfortable and disrupt sleep.

Some women experience mood changes during menopause, including depression or irritability. The loss of estrogen may be the cause of this. Depression can lead to poor sleep or even insomnia in many cases.

Sleep apnea is another condition that may be related to low estrogen levels. Sleep apnea inhibits sleep and can be harmful to your health.

What Can You Do About it?

If perimenopause or menopause is driving your crazy with a lack of sleep at night, don’t despair. There are several things you can do. First things first, though. If you suspect your insomnia is related to perimenopause symptoms, see a doctor and find out how you can treat it. Your healthcare provider may recommend a short treatment of hormone therapy, antidepressants, or something more natural like flaxseed oil. The point is, there are things that can be done to treat your menopause and insomnia symptoms, so speak with your doctor.

Secondly, you can do a lot to your sleeping environment to make it more conducive to good sleep at night. If you experience night sweats or hot flashes, keep your bedroom at a cool temperature. You don’t need to freeze at night, but just lowering the temperature a few degrees can make a difference. You should also wear light pajamas and blankets as well.

There are many other things you can do that simply promote good sleep habits. These are things that everyone can and should do to sleep better at night. This includes darkening your room at night, which gives the brain the message that it is time to shut down and sleep. Going to bed at the same time every night and only using your bed for sleep and sex can also train your brain to sleep when it’s time to.

You should also cut out any caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco, and cut seriously back on chocolate. These are all stimulants that can have an effect on your quality of sleep. Getting exercise earlier in the day will help you to sleep better at night. Removing the television or other media from the bedroom can help also.

Insomnia during menopause is nothing new; many women experience it. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with it. There are menopause insomnia treatments that can help you sleep better at night. If you haven’t yet seen a doctor for your menopause symptoms, do that first. After that, you might want to try some of these simple remedies until you find a treatment for insomnia during menopause that works for you.

About Holli Ronquillo

I'm a freelance writer, mom, wife, and sleep connoisseur (not necessarily in that order). When I'm not sleeping or chasing a toddler around, I'm usually writing or reading.