Know How Menopause Can Affect Your Sleep And Ways To Manage It

Know How Menopause Can Affect Your Sleep And Ways To Manage It

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Menopause is a natural biological process that occurs in women typically between the ages of 45 and 55, although it can happen earlier or later. It marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years and is associated with a range of hormonal changes that can impact various aspects of health, including sleep. Menopause-related sleep disturbances can be challenging, but there are several ways to manage them effectively.

How Menopause Can Affect Sleep?

Dr Asha Hiremath, who is an Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and Laproscopic Surgeon, at Motherhood Hospitals, Indiranagar, Bengaluru said that during menopause, hormonal changes particularly a decline in estrogen levels, can lead to several symptoms, including sleep disturbances. Here’s how menopause can affect sleep and some ways to manage it:

  • Insomnia: Fluctuations in hormone levels, especially estrogen and progesterone, can lead to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Hot flashes and night sweats, which are common during menopause, can also disrupt sleep patterns.
  • Mood Changes: Menopause can bring about mood swings, anxiety, and depression, which may further impact sleep quality.
  • Sleep Apnea: The risk of developing sleep apnea increases during menopause. This condition involves pauses in breathing during sleep and can lead to frequent awakenings and a decrease in overall sleep quality.
  • Restless Legs Syndrome: RLS, characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs, can worsen during menopause and interfere with falling asleep.
  • Shift in Sleep Patterns: Menopause can cause a shift in circadian rhythms, leading to changes in sleep patterns such as difficulty falling asleep earlier in the evening or waking up earlier than desired.

Strategies To Manage Sleep Disturbances During Menopause:

Dr. M Rajini, who is a Consultant – Obstetrics & Gynaecology, T CARE Hospitals, Banjara Hills – Hyderabad listed down ways to manage sleep disturbances during menopause:

1. Lifestyle Changes:

  • Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine: Establish calming activities before bedtime, such as reading, meditation, or gentle yoga, to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down.
  • Diet and Exercise: A healthy diet and regular exercise can improve sleep quality. Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime.

2. Manage Hot Flashes and Night Sweats:

  • Dress in Lightweight Clothing: Wear breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics to help manage night sweats.
  • Keep Your Bedroom Cool: Lowering the room temperature can help reduce the intensity of hot flashes.
  • Use Bedding Wisely: Choose moisture-wicking sheets and keep a fan or air conditioner in your bedroom.

3. Consider Hormone Therapy:

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): This may be an option for some women to alleviate menopausal symptoms, including sleep disturbances. However, the decision to use HRT should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider, as it carries potential risks and benefits.

4. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I):

  • CBT-I: It is a structured therapeutic approach that can help address insomnia and improve sleep habits. A trained therapist can teach you techniques to manage sleep-related anxiety and establish healthy sleep patterns.

5. Medications:

  • In some cases, doctors may prescribe medications to manage specific symptoms such as hot flashes or insomnia. These should only be used under medical supervision.

6. Relaxation and Stress Reduction:

  • Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or mindfulness meditation to reduce stress and anxiety that may be contributing to sleep disturbances.

Ayurvedic Wisdom For Blissful Sleep During Menopause:

In this regard, Tamanna Singh, who is the FounderMenoveda said, “Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine, views menopause as a natural transition. Ayurvedic wisdom suggests that imbalances in the doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) contribute to menopausal symptoms, including sleep disturbances.”

Here are some Ayurvedic insights and strategies to help you reclaim your restful slumber: 

  • Balancing Vata Dosha: Vata imbalance often causes restlessness. Try Abhyanga (self-massage) with warm sesame oil before bedtime to calm your nervous system. 
  • Herbal Allies: Ayurveda recommends herbs like Ashwagandha, Shatavari, and Brahmi to balance hormones and reduce anxiety, aiding in better sleep. 
  • Mindful Sleep Routine: Establish a calming bedtime routine with meditation, gentle yoga, or Pranayama (breathing exercises) to soothe your mind.
  • Cooling Diet: Opt for a cooling diet to counteract hot flashes. Include foods like cucumbers, melons, and mint in your meals. 
  • Triphala for Digestion: Triphala, an Ayurvedic herbal blend, helps maintain digestive health, preventing late-night digestive discomfort. 
  • Sleep-Friendly Environment: Ensure your sleep space is dark, cool, and free from distractions. 
  • Ayurvedic Teas: Sip on herbal teas like chamomile, lavender, or licorice root in the evening to promote relaxation. 

[Disclaimer: The information provided in the article, including treatment suggestions shared by doctors, is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.]

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