I am trying to be very positive about the upcoming changes that are inevitable. After all, I exercise regularly, eat a well balanced diet, try to de-stress and get enough sleep (OK not really great on those 2 habits so they're not habits) but I know that when full blown menopause arrives I may or may not be faced with hot flashes, vaginal dryness, some mood swing issues and now I am finding out that my precious sleep may become an "interrupted experience."
Two new studies seem to shed light on the different stages of menopause and how they impact sleep patterns and what risk factors my doom you to more sleep issues. As you move through menopause you may find that it is harder to "stay asleep." The most common problems that cause this are hot flashes, night sweats and cold sweats. Researchers also assume that diminishing levels of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and estradiol may also have a direct affect on sleep. There was also a big difference among ethnicities. Caucasian women had more trouble staying asleep while Hispanic women had lower rates of difficulty staying asleep or early morning awakenings. When it came to falling asleep - everyone seemed to struggle.
So to me it's no surprise that if you have hot flashes and night sweats you are going to wake up - a lot - and I also know that whatever your mom's menopause experience was - you will more than likely have a similar story. So if you remember your mom fanning herself a lot, complaining about mood swings and sleep issues - you can typically expect the same. But forewarned is for-armed, right?? I certainly hope so. So I decided a long time ago to increase my daily soy intake, continue my very disciplined exercise regimen, and if and when hot flashes arrive I plan to keep ice water and a hand held fan close by. I do know that I want my doctor clued in and asking the right questions and offering support and other ideas to help me if I do indeed have a prolonged "suffering period." On the other hand - I am a hopeful person so I'll just wait and see if my efforts pay off and I blissfully pass through menopause with few issues. Heck, maybe I'll even sleep through it!!
Are you having menopausal sleep issues?? Any specific treatments or suggestions??
Published On: July 23, 2008