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Menopause & Trouble Sleeping

Posted by Nina Joshi on
Menopause & Trouble Sleeping

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia essentially means having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Having trouble sleeping every now and then is normal, but if you go weeks or months without a good night's sleep then it can cause health problems.

 Common symptoms of insomnia include:

  • difficulty falling asleep

  • waking up too early

  • waking up during the night (restless sleeping)

  • not feeling well-rested when waking up

  • trouble concentrating or focusing on tasks

  • irritability

Menopause & Trouble Sleeping

Insomnia is a very common symptom of menopause. During menopause, the decreasing hormone levels can have an affect on many functions of your body, including sleep. During this time your ovaries also stop producing the hormone progesterone which helps you sleep by releasing a neurotransmitter called GABA. Insomnia can also be a side-effect to other menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.

Insomnia can also be caused by other factors in your life such as stress, a new sleep or work schedule, and some medications.


How to sleep sounder

Invite better sleep

Sleep is a tricky thing, and sometimes the most effective thing to do is to prime your body, mind and environment for sleep.

 Hormonal Treatments

  • Hormone replacement therapies can help with insomnia during menopause

  • Some low-dose birth controls can also be prescribed to help balance hormone levels

Herbal Treatments

  • Melatonin

  • Valerian Root

  • Chamomile

  • Magnesium

Some less studied herbal treatments include: ginseng, peppermint and lavender. A lot of herbal treatments come in many different form such as capsules, gummies, teas and essential oil (oil should never be digested). Find what works best for you!

 Common Prescription Medications

  • Trazadone- minor anti-depressant that helps with sleepiness

  • Eszopiclone (Lunesta)- helps you fall asleep quickly but may cause grogginess the next day

  • Doxepin- helps with staying asleep

  • Ramelteon (Rozerem)- targets the sleep-wake cycle

  • Zeleplon- stays active in the body for a short period of time, helps when you need a boost to help you fall asleep

If you are interested in a prescription medication, please consult your doctor.

Menopause & Trouble Sleeping Solutions

Here are some of our favorite tips to invite better sleep:

  1. Rule out other causes of insomnia, like stress, routine changes, and medications side-effects

  2. Prepare your body for sleep by taking a warm bath or shower. Include bath salts for added relaxation.

  3. Drink something warm and soothing like herbal tea an hour before bed

  4. Try a few minutes of gentle yoga or stretching

  5. Make your bed a "no screen zone"

  6. Use cooling sheets, pillows, blankets or pajamas to help you sleep and avoid night sweats

  7. Shut off any sounds and lights that may distract you from falling asleep

Note about over-the-counter medications - most of these sleep aides are antihistamines (Unisom, Benadryl) and may help you fall asleep. However, they cause cause drowsiness the next day and are only intended for short-term use, less than 2 weeks.

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