Insomnia is a serious problem that prevents many people from sleeping, and causes exhaustion, inability to concentrate, and a number of health issues. During menopause, sleeping well can become more difficult.
Phases of Menopause
There are four major phases of menopause:
Premenopause. This is the time between puberty and premenopause.
Perimenopause. This is the stage leading up to menopause. Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone begin to fluctuate, which can cause symptoms such as night sweats, insomnia and fatigue.
Menopause. You reach this stage 12 months after your final period.
- Postmenopause. The period after menopause when there is no more menstruation.
How to Manage Insomnia during Perimenopause
Perimenopause can cause tiredness and irritation due to dramatic fluctuations in hormones. Perimenopause symptoms may include night sweats, sleep disturbances, fatigue and insomnia. However, these symptoms can be reduced and alleviated.
Layer Your bed Sheets
Night sweats can wake you up from sleep in a cold sweat. Layering the sheets on your bed can help, as it makes it easier to adjust your body temperature throughout the night by adding or removing layers.
Take a Break
When suffering from insomnia, take a break from trying to sleep, and distract yourself. Try not check your work emails or surf the internet, since the artificial light from electronic devices may worsen your ability to sleep. Instead, read a book, have a glass of water or a mug of warm milk. This may help relax you and make it easier to sleep when you return to bed.
Keep a bottle of water by your bed to rehydrate yourself after a night sweat.
Meditation can be an effective relaxation technique. If you're unable to go to sleep, go to a cool, quiet place. Sit up, and do slow, calming breathing. Try and focus on relaxing each part of your body. When you feel a little more relaxed, return to bed.
If you are ever concerned about your sleep patterns, talk to a doctor.
Click on the following link to read more about treatments for perimenopause.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
- Hopkins, Virginia. Lee, John R. M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.