Trouble With Sleep

You’re tossing and turning and suddenly that early bedtime you planned for is no longer in the cards. Or, maybe you did fall asleep early but it’s now 3:00am and you’re wide awake. Or you’re up at changing your pajamas and the sheets because you’ve had a dreaded night sweat. Sound familiar?

Trouble with sleep hero


Is this normal?

Unfortunately, it’s totally normal. Up to 95% of menopausal women experience difficulty sleeping.

What can you do?

You can stack the deck in your favor by exercising, skipping that cup of coffee in the afternoon and evening, and avoiding alcohol. You can also practice good “sleep hygiene.” Keep your room clean, dark (invest in a set of blackout shades!), and cool. Try not to use your phone or watch TV too close to bedtime. And start to wind down 30 minutes before you go to sleep. You can also try menopausal hormone treatment, which can help with a variety of your symptoms that are keeping you up.

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Why can’t I sleep?

There are a few reasons you might not be getting the rest you need. For one thing, night sweats are extremely disruptive to sleep, to say the least. And your fluctuating hormones are no help. Progesterone has a mildly sedative effect, and as your body starts making less of it, you may find that you’re not falling or staying asleep as easily as you used to. Then there are the other symptoms of menopause that can make it difficult to get sleep Think: anxiety, headaches, and dry, itchy skin.

That’s bad, right?

It’s not good. Sleep is as important to your overall health as eating a nutritious diet, exercise, and staying hydrated. Not getting enough sleep can make going about your daily life really, really difficult.

Ugh. But is it normal?

Unfortunately, it’s totally normal. Up to 95% of menopausal women experience difficulty sleeping.

Is there anything I can do about it?

There is! Getting good sleep is easier said than done, but here are some things that can be helpful.

  • Set a bedtime and a wake time and as often as possible, try to stick to those times. Be realistic about what you can do.
  • Create a bedtime routine, and try to stick to it. Start to wind down around 30 minutes before bed. Meditate, listen to relaxing music, whatever works for you.
  • Try to eliminate or limit screen time late in the day. If you have to, keep your phone outside your bedroom overnight.
  • Keep your bedroom cool. Breathable cotton sheets will help.
  • Invest in a set of blackout shades to keep out unwanted light at night.
  • Move daily, and get plenty of light during the day.
  • Avoid caffeine in the afternoons and evenings.
  • Avoid excess alcohol.
  • And most importantly, Menopausal Hormone Treatment is very helpful. It will stabilize your body’s natural hormones and replenish your body’s progesterone, which, as we said, has a mildly sedative effect, and the estrogen will help with things like night sweats.