Is menopause affecting quality of your sleep?

February 11th, 2018 by Vishal Saini

What is menopause?

Are you experiencing hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness along with tossing and turning in your bed due to lack of sleep? If answer to these questions is yes, then you are in the phase of menopause.
The average age for menopause in American females is 51 years. Symptoms can start occurring around 46 years of age and cause significant impact on sleep architecture of women.

Features of menopause:

The characteristic feature of menopause is change in hormones. Increase in serum FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone) and decrease in LH (Leutinizing hormone) concentration along with cessation of menstrual cycle defines menopause. The changes in a woman’s body during premenopause, menopause and postmenopause are quite significant. Sleep disturbances and change in sleep patterns are one of them.

Sleep research in menopausal women:

A clinical research study done on 60 females with age range of 46-52 years to study changes in sleep architecture in women undergoing menopausal changes. At 6-year follow up with sleep test these women report:

  • Delayed onset of sleep
  • Shorter total sleep time
  • Frequent awakenings at night
  • Lower sleep efficiency (total sleep time/time in bed)

This study concludes that both aging and menopause impact sleep quality in post menopausal women.

Conclusion:

Older adults spend more time in lighter sleep stages, and less time in deep sleep. They experience multiple awakenings at night. According to Wisconsin sleep cohort study, odds ratio of sleep apnea is more than twofold in postmenopausal women. It means postmenopausal women are more prone to develop sleep apnea than women of fertile age group. This is due to change in BMI during menopause and in postmenopausal phase.

A sleep test in this age group can be beneficial in assessing the cause of poor sleep and address the issues. If you are suffering from poor sleep at night due to menopause or advanced age, we are here to help you sleep better.