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How Menopause Can Affect Sleep


Let’s face it. Women are busy, and that’s particularly true for women who are raising kids, caring for their aging parents, working or all of the above. In general, women are responsible for a wide array of things that add stress to their lives. Any one of those things may be enough to cause you to have problems sleeping. When you add the effects that menopause can have on sleep to the mix, it’s no wonder why so many women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s are so darn tired.

Even before a woman enters menopause, she may experience problems sleeping that are hormone-related and tied to her menstrual cycle. These problems may become more severe as a female enters perimenopause, menopause and the post-menopausal phase of her life.

How Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone Influence Sleep

As you approach menopause, your estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels will fluctuate, sometimes wildly, before they decline during menopause and thereafter. As you probably know, these hormones are what regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle and reproductive functions. They also affect many women’s ability to sleep.

Estrogen promotes restful sleep by helping your body use neurochemicals like serotonin, which help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. When your estrogen levels drop during menopause, you may start to experience disrupted sleep. In fact, you may experience insomnia, which is a very common sign that menopause has begun.

Progesterone assists in regulating your mood and it guards against anxiety and depression. Progesterone helps women to feel good, relaxed and calm, all of which can facilitate sleep. Progesterone also increases your body’s production of a neurotransmitter that can enhance sleep which is known as GABA.

When your progesterone level drops leading up to menopause, it can cause you to experience sleep difficulties, such as waking repeatedly during the night. Because your body will stop producing progesterone when you enter menopause, your sleep issues may continue post-menopause.

While women have lower levels of testosterone than men, the hormone still heavily influences females’ sex drives. Testosterone also helps women produce estrogen. While your body will continue to produce testosterone even after you experience menopause, your body will make less of it as you age in your post-menopausal years. As your testosterone levels drop, your body will have less of the hormone to help it make estrogen, which may augment your sleep difficulties.

The stage before menopause is referred to as perimenopause. This phase generally begins when a woman hits her forties, but it can start as early as your mid to late 30s. Perimenopause typically lasts between 3 – 5 years, but it can go on for as long as a decade in some women.

No matter what stage of menopause you’re in, you should talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing problems with falling asleep, staying asleep or both.

Shop with America’s Fastest Growing Mattress and Furniture Discounter Now

While we can’t help alleviate the symptoms of menopause for you, we can help you get a comfy mattress that may help you sleep better. We invite you to shop with the country’s fastest growing mattress and furniture discounter, Ben’s, today. If you don’t live near one of our Atlanta-area retail locations, you can shop at Ben’s online now!

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