Menopause and Sleep: Why You Need More Zzz's and How to Get Them

Many women experience changes in their sleep patterns during menopause, and may find that they need more sleep than usual. This is due to a variety of factors related to the hormonal changes that occur during this transition.

During menopause, levels of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that play a role in regulating sleep, begin to decline. This can lead to a variety of sleep disturbances, such as difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, or waking up too early in the morning. Additionally, hot flashes and night sweats, which are common menopause symptoms, can disrupt sleep.

As a result of these changes, many women find that they need more sleep than they did before menopause. While the exact amount of sleep needed varies from person to person, most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to function at their best.

To support healthy sleep during menopause, there are several strategies you can try:

  1. Establish a regular sleep routine: Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can help regulate your body's natural sleep-wake cycle and improve the quality of your sleep.

  2. Create a comfortable sleep environment: Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet to promote restful sleep. Consider using blackout curtains or a white noise machine if necessary.

  3. Practice relaxation techniques: Yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or other relaxation techniques can help to reduce stress and promote better sleep.

  4. Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help to promote healthy sleep, but be mindful of timing. Avoid exercising too close to bedtime, as this can make it harder to fall asleep.

  5. Talk to your healthcare provider: If you're experiencing significant sleep disturbances or other menopause symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider about treatment options that may help.

Remember, getting enough sleep is an important part of maintaining overall health and wellbeing during menopause. By making sleep a priority and taking steps to support healthy sleep habits, you can help manage menopause-related sleep disturbances and feel your best.

Donna M., Exercise Physiologist 

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