(Ashley Welsh/ Everyday Health) — When you’re making your journey through menopause, a good night’s sleep can feel impossible. Sleep disturbances are often a challenging problem for midlife women, according to Mary Rosser, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of women’s health in obstetrics and gynecology and the director of Integrated Women’s Health Columbia University Irving Medical Center. In fact, the incidence of sleep disorders ranges from 16 to 47 percent at perimenopause (the transition to menopause) and 35 to 60 percent at post-menopause, according to research published in January 2022 in the Journal of Mid-Life Health.
Dr. Rosser says it’s important to figure out why your sleep is disturbed. Sometimes the cause may be hormonal changes related to menopause, or it could be midlife stresses such as anxiety over work, children, aging parents, or relationship issues. “In addition to hormonal changes, stress is a major driver of sleep disturbance,” Rosser says.
Hot flashes can also be the reason behind sleepless nights. Fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone that occur during perimenopause and menopause can cause hot flashes in more than 80 percent of women, according to research published in January 2019 also in the Journal of Mid-Life Health. (…)