Insomnia is a symptom related to menopause. Some ways to help you sleep better include eating earlier, practicing healthy sleep hygiene, creating a better sleeping environment, and some medications.
Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that prevents you from getting adequate sleep. It’s typically classified into
- Chronic insomnia is when you experience trouble sleeping 3 days per week for at least 3 months.
- Short-term insomnia is when you’ve experienced trouble sleeping for 3 months.
Some people have a difficult time falling asleep, while others have a hard time staying asleep. The authors of a
Keep reading to learn more about how to sleep better during menopause.
Menopause is officially reached one full year after your last menstrual period.
During perimenopause, your ovaries begin producing lesser amounts of key hormones like estrogen and progesterone. As these hormone levels fall, you may experience hormonal, physical, and emotional symptoms.
Going through menopause can affect your sleep cycle on three different levels.
Hot flashes and night sweats are common vasomotor symptoms of menopause that may affect your sleep.
As your hormone levels fluctuate, you may feel as if you’re having sudden increases and drops in your body temperature. However, you’re actually experiencing a rise in your adrenaline level that’s caused by the rapid decrease of hormones.
Your body may have a hard time recovering from this sudden burst of energy, making it difficult for you to fall back asleep.
A 2021 study found that hot flashes affected
The authors of another
Hormonal changes during menopause may affect your sleeping habits.
For example, the authors of a
Similarly, the decline in progesterone is
Just as natural chemical and hormonal changes can interfere with sleep, so can changes caused by medications or supplements that you’re taking.
The researchers of a
Speak with a healthcare professional if you’re beginning a new medication or using an over-the-counter (OTC) supplement. These may be contributing to your insomnia.
There are several different kinds of treatment for insomnia. These include prescription medications, therapies, and natural remedies. Your treatment plan may depend on
- whether your insomnia is short-term or chronic
- if you’re diagnosed with other mental health conditions
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT is a first-line treatment for people with chronic insomnia and is especially useful for people in menopause.
CBT is a treatment method that helps you recognize negative patterns, behaviors, and thoughts that may be affecting your sleep. Upon recognition, it’s best to work with a doctor to develop coping strategies.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
HRT is a treatment to help you manage symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia. This type of treatment helps supplement your estrogen and progesterone levels while your natural levels decline.
Speak with a healthcare professional about HRT if your symptoms of menopause are causing insomnia. HRT is available in many different forms, including:
- topical creams or gels
- oral tablets
A healthcare professional may suggest taking low doses of certain medications to help you sleep better.
- Hormonal birth control: A low dose may help
stabilizeyour hormone levels. This could reduce symptoms of menopause and help you sleep better.
- Antidepressants: These may treat underlying mental health conditions that can be causing your insomnia. However, a low dose of certain antidepressant medications may also help you sleep better. These
includea selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), duloxetine, and amitriptyline, among others.
- Benzodiazepines: These drugs may have
sedativeand muscle-relaxing effects that might help you sleep.
- Melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone that helps control your sleep and wake cycles. There may be an
associationbetween menopause and decreased levels of melatonin, which may affect your sleep. Melatonin supplements may help restore this balance to help you sleep better.
Making changes to your sleeping routine and environment may help you sleep better during menopause. Here are some tips to help improve your sleep quality, duration, and onset.
- Keep your room cool: The National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping your room temperature between 60–67°F (15.6–19.4°C). This may help keep your body temperature low, which could promote sleep onset.
- Lights off: It’s important to turn off any lights, such as cell phones, alarm clocks, TVs, and lamps. Buzzing or blinking lights may alert your brain and keep you up, even when you’re asleep.
- Practice relaxation techniques:
Listening to calm musicand practicing yogabefore going may help you relieve stress. This could help you fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
- Ditch the phone:
Using your phonebefore bed negatively impacts your ability to fall and stay asleep.
- Alarm clock: A 2023 study suggests that people with insomnia typically look a their clocks when they wake up during the night. This can stimulate your brain and increase existing anxiety about insomnia. Turning your alarm clock away from you or dimming its light may also help you sleep better.
- Eat earlier: A
2021 studyfound that eating within 1 hour before bed increases your chance of waking up. Going to sleep on a full stomach may also causeheartburn and acid reflux, which can keep you up.
Speak with a doctor if you’re experiencing trouble falling asleep or staying asleep during menopause.
A doctor will first ask you about your symptoms, any medications you may be taking, and your sleeping habits. This may include when you usually wake up and go to sleep, and how tired you are during the day.
They may also perform a physical exam or request blood tests to check for any underlying conditions that may cause insomnia.
If the cause can’t be determined, the doctor may ask you to track your sleeping behaviors over a period of time using questionnaires or a sleep diary.
How long does menopause insomnia last?
The authors of a
What is menopause insomnia like?
Insomnia during menopause can really affect your quality of life. Menopause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, headaches, and tender breasts can all make it more difficult for you to fall or stay asleep.
What is the best sleep aid for menopause?
There are various treatments to help you fall asleep during menopause. These may include:
- prescription medications, such as benzodiazepines
- OTC supplements, such as melatonin
- therapy, such as HRT
- natural remedies, such as practicing healthy sleeping habits
Many people will experience bouts of insomnia from time to time, but menopause-related insomnia can last for weeks and months if not properly treated.
Some natural remedies like keeping your room temperature cool, avoiding your phone before bed, and not eating within 1 hour of going to bed can help you fall asleep.
That said, speak with a doctor if these aren’t helping you. They’ll help you find the best treatment plan that works for you.