Health Matters: Menopause and Sleep Changes
They can keep you from falling asleep and staying asleep. “Hormonal changes can impact our sleep and our sleep can impact hormone production. It’s a cause and effect,” said Mary Hoke, a nurse practitioner with Lee Health.
Hormonal changes like menopause can cause women to experience sleep apnea and insomnia. “With menopause we see that there is generally less estrogen being produced which can result in an increase in body temperature, resulting in hot flashes. We also see that there’s a decrease in progesterone which can lead to a decrease in our breathing drive that can increase our risk for sleep apnea,” she said.
According to the national sleep foundation, menopause can change a woman’s sleep pattern, causing frequent awakenings, difficulty returning to sleep, and sleep apnea. “We think these hormones give us some protection from developing sleep apnea, so we know that menopause increases your risk for sleep apnea,” said Hoke.
Sleep deprivation can cause memory loss, fatigue, and mood changes. “Sometimes diet and lifestyle changes can make a difference. Estrogen from a plant-based soy product can help with going to sleep at night, having a healthy diet, avoiding caffeine, spicy foods, real heavy foods, or acidic foods can help with sleep,” Hoke said.
Regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, having a regular bedtime routine, and meeting with a sleep medicine physician can also help to give you a better night’s sleep.
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