Sleep is an essential part of being healthy and feeling like your best self. Yet, many of us struggle to get enough sleep at night. If you feel like you’re sleeping even worse after menopause, you might be right. Hormone changes can negatively affect sleep in many ways. However, estrogen replacement therapy may improve sleep quality for menopausal women. In this article, we’ll explore some of the evidence and why it’s important to address your sleep problems with our team of healthcare providers.
Studies Show Estrogen Replacement Therapy May Improve Your Sleep
Estrogen replacement therapy may improve your menopause-related sleep problems.
We have long known that sleep problems can increase after menopause. Women are already predisposed to insomnia compared to men, but after menopause, risks increase. For instance, sleep complaints shoot up from 12% in premenopausal women to approximately 40% for women of menopausal age, according to the Sleep Foundation.
Many women experience insomnia during menopause. Frequent daytime fatigue is also another common symptom. In addition, menopause can increase your risk for many sleep disorders, including sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome (RLS). Many women also experience poor REM sleep.
A lot of these issues may be due to hormone changes during menopause, particularly low estrogen and progesterone. Therefore, many scientists have looked at the effects of estrogen replacement therapy on sleep and whether it can help menopausal women sleep better.
Much of the evidence suggests that hormone replacement therapy can improve sleep. For instance, one 2017 study published in the North American Menopause Society’s journal, Menopause, found that low dose hormones during menopause improved sleep quality for women who recently entered menopause.
We’ll look at some other studies later in this article that suggest that estrogen may improve sleep after menopause as well. However, these results are promising that estrogen replacement therapy may be able to reduce many sleep symptoms associated with menopause.
How Low Estrogen & Progesterone Affect Sleep for Menopausal Women
Why might estrogen replacement therapy be so beneficial for sleep quality after menopause? To understand this, it’s important to know how menopause affects sleep, especially through two hormones: estrogen and progesterone.
Estrogen and progesterone are key hormones that control menstruation and pregnancy. During menopause, these hormones start to fluctuate and decline until you stop having a period. This causes many symptoms, including things like hot flashes, mood changes, and vaginal dryness. Hormone levels during menopause can also interfere with your sleep.
Hormones May Affect Your Circadian Rhythm & REM Sleep
Researchers are still studying how and why low estrogen and progesterone may interfere with good quality sleep. However, it may be due to changes in your circadian rhythm and REM sleep. These are both essential for good quality sleep.
Circadian rhythm is like your body’s internal clock. It tells you when you should sleep and when you should be awake in a 24-hour period. Many things can influence your circadian rhythm, including light. Your hormones may also affect your circadian rhythm, such as how estrogen and progesterone control menstruation.
Some studies have even found that estrogen can affect REM sleep. REM stands for rapid eye movement and is one of the deeper stages of sleep. REM sleep stimulates areas of the brain necessary for dreaming, memory retention, emotional processing, and learning. One study from 2013 found that estrogen may play an important role in REM and non-REM sleep in rats.
Therefore, estrogen and progesterone themselves may influence the processes in your body responsible for quality sleep.
Menopause Symptoms May Disrupt Sleep
In addition, many menopause symptoms can also interfere with sleep, further compounding the problem. Menopause can come with many distressing symptoms, including:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Frequent urination
All these symptoms can also disrupt sleep. Hot flashes and night sweats can make it hard to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. Anxiety may have your mind racing, or even cause fast breathing and heart rate that make it feel impossible to sleep. Depression often causes insomnia. Frequent urination can cause you to get up multiple times at night to use the bathroom, fragmenting your sleep and often making it hard to fall back asleep.
As you can see, many of the symptoms can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep during menopause.
Why is Sleep Quality Important?
You’ve been told sleep is important for your health, but it’s important to understand exactly why. Sleep helps repair your body and mind so it can function properly. Sleep quality is basically whether you’re getting enough restful sleep.
Poor sleep quality can cause many short- and long-term effects. In the short-term, it can cause mood changes like:
- Memory problems
- Difficulty staying alert
- Higher risk for accidents
- Poor quality of life
If you’ve ever had a bad night’s sleep, then you likely already know just how bad it can affect you and your entire day.
The long-term effects of poor sleep quality on your health. Some of these include an increased risk for:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
In addition to these increased health risks, poor sleep can also seriously affect your appearance. Poor sleep can reduce the amount of collagen in your skin, which can lead to premature wrinkles. Poor sleep quality can also lead to permanent dark circles under the eyes. Both wrinkles and dark circles under the eye can make you look older and cause many people to feel self-conscious.
Therefore, it’s important for adults to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Also, if you frequently wake up feeling unrested, find yourself unable to sleep, or wake up frequently throughout the night, talk to our providers. We can help determine causes of your sleep problems and provide treatments to help you sleep better for your health and overall well-being.
How Estrogen Replacement Therapy Can Help Improve Sleep
If you’re having a hard time getting good quality sleep during menopause, it may be time to talk to our hormone doctor for help. Many studies have found that hormone therapy during menopause can improve many sleep symptoms you might be experiencing.
Estrogen Replacement Therapy May Increase Sleep Quality
As we’ve mentioned, many studies have looked at the effects of hormone therapy on sleep quality with positive results. In addition to the 2017 study where low dose estrogen replacement therapy helped improve sleep, there are many other studies that seem to confirm this.
For instance, one 2019 study also found that hormone therapy can help with sleep quality. In the study, the women received combination hormone therapy, which includes both estrogen and progesterone. Compared to the placebo group, the women using hormones saw a significant increase in self-reported sleep quality. The results were immediate and long-lasting, with the women seeing sleep improvements in just one month.
Estrogen Replacement Therapy Can Alleviate Menopause Symptoms
If it’s your menopause symptoms keeping you up at night, estrogen replacement therapy can help with that, too. Estrogen is one of the most effective treatments today for hot flashes and night sweats, which often lead to poor sleep. Hormone therapy can also help with many of the other symptoms that interfere not only with sleep, but your everyday life.
Research from 2008 found that hormone therapy during menopause has many positive effects on sleep, menopause symptoms, and even joint pain. In the study, the women who used hormone therapy were less likely to experience sleeplessness, hot flashes, night sweats, and joint pain, all of which can negatively impact sleep quality.
Therefore, estrogen replacement therapy might be the right choice for you if you’re sleeping poorly during menopause.
Find Solutions for Your Sleep at HerKare
Our team at HerKare is here to help you improve your overall health. If you’re going through menopause and dealing with unwanted symptoms like insomnia, poor sleep quality, hot flushes, and mood changes, get in touch with our healthcare team. We identify and treat underlying causes of your symptoms to help you feel your best. Whether you need estrogen replacement therapy for menopause sleep issues or need CPAP therapy for sleep apnea, we are here to help you get a good night’s sleep. Make an appointment now at one of our convenient clinic locations to learn how we can help you start feeling better.
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects many people, yet women often go undiagnosed and untreated. This can cause many negative effects in your life, including sexual dysfunction and other health issues. With proper treatment, you may be able to reduce many of the symptoms and complications of sleep apnea. Let’s talk about how sleep apnea affects women and what you can do to improve your overall well-being if you have this condition.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can cause many issues for your life and health.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing while you sleep. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is where your airways collapse and block breathing while you sleep. In response to this, your body wakes you up to help you breathe normally again. Because of this, people with sleep apnea often experience sleep fragmentation, low oxygen levels, and higher blood pressure, among many other health concerns. It can also cause many serious symptoms.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea May Be More Subtle in Women
There are many classic symptoms of sleep apnea, including loud snoring and observed pauses in breathing during the night (usually by your partner). Other symptoms of sleep apnea can include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Brain fog
- Morning headaches
- Low libido
- Waking up gasping or choking
However, many women with sleep apnea experience subtle symptoms. Symptoms may not be as severe, and they may not suffer from the more well-known signs of sleep apnea. Many also contribute their symptoms, like fatigue and depression, to other things like life changes, aging, menopause, or other health conditions. This can delay getting treatment and cause many unwanted effects. Therefore, if you think you have sleep apnea, visit our women’s health clinic to find underlying causes of your symptoms.
How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Life
Sleep apnea doesn’t just affect your sleep, it can influence every part of your life. One less commonly known way that sleep apnea can affect women is through their sex lives. In addition, sleep apnea can put you at risk for potentially life-threatening health issues.
Increased Risk for Sexual Dysfunction
Sleep apnea can have a pretty big impact on your sex life. One study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2011 researched the connection between sleep apnea and sexual dysfunction in women. The researchers looked at 80 women who had OSA and compared them to 240 women who didn’t have this sleep disorder. They found that the OSA group was significantly more likely to suffer from sexual dysfunction based on their answers to questionnaires.
Sexual dysfunction can mean a lot of different things for women. According to the Mayo Clinic, sexual dysfunction is “persistent, recurrent problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm, or pain.” Some symptoms include things like low sexual desire, difficulty becoming or staying aroused during sexual activities, difficulty achieving orgasm, or even experiencing pain during sex. This can affect your overall quality of life as well as your intimate relationships.
There may be several reasons behind this link between sleep apnea and sexual dysfunction. One potential cause is that sleep deprivation from this sleep disorder can reduce your natural testosterone production. Testosterone is an important hormone for women’s sex drive and sexual function.
Also, many of the symptoms of sleep apnea can interfere with intimacy as well. For example, extreme fatigue can affect your sexual desire and arousal. The same goes for irritability from tiredness as well as depression and anxiety that many women with sleep apnea experience. Therefore, sleep apnea’s effects on sex are pretty complex.
Negative Health Effects
Sleep apnea can also negatively affect your health and overall wellbeing. Sleep apnea can put your body into overdrive and lead to many issues, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, so it’s a serious complication of sleep apnea that could cost you your life.
Also, sleep apnea can increase your risk for other serious issues. For instance, it can increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Another potential complication of untreated sleep apnea is an increased risk for accidents, such as car crashes or work accidents, which can lead to injuries or death. Therefore, it’s important to get treated for sleep apnea to help protect yourself from these many health risks.
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
How do you know if you’re at risk for sleep apnea? Practically anyone can have sleep apnea, but there are some common risk factors that many women have. Some of the biggest lifestyle factors that increase your risk for sleep apnea include being overweight or obese, living a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and excessive drinking.
Some other risk factors for sleep apnea in women include:
- Family history of sleep apnea
Menopause and PCOS may increase the risk for sleep apnea due to hormone changes, as they lead to lower levels of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones can help maintain proper muscle tone in the airways to prevent the risk of collapse. However, if you have low levels of these hormones, your airways can become weaker and more prone to collapse, leading to OSA.
Visit Our Women’s Health Clinic if You Think You Have a Sleep Disorder
If you think you might have sleep apnea, the first step is to make an appointment at one of our clinic locations. We offer home sleep testing, which allows you to avoid the cost, inconvenience, and discomfort of visiting a sleep lab. With a home sleep test, you simply wear the device during a normal night and bring the device back. Our doctors analyze the sleep data the device collects and, if applicable, can diagnose you with sleep apnea. Our team then creates a customized treatment plan for you to help you feel better. We provide any medical devices you need and also remotely monitor your treatment and make adjustments as necessary to improve your results and symptoms. For truly comprehensive women’s health care, our team is here for you.
Available Treatments for OSA
There are several treatment solutions available for women with sleep apnea. Since everyone is different, it’s important to discuss personalized treatment plans with our women’s health care providers.
For some, you may be able to treat and manage sleep apnea through lifestyle changes. Some lifestyle changes might include quitting smoking, reducing how much you drink alcohol, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and losing weight.
Also, for women who experience sleep apnea events primarily when they sleep on their backs, you may benefit from positional therapy. This is essentially retraining yourself to sleep on your side instead of your back to help your airways stay open during the night. There are several approaches to this, but often include wearing a device to discourage you from rolling onto your back as you sleep.
The gold standard for treating sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. CPAP therapy involves increasing pressure in your airways while you sleep to prevent them from narrowing and collapsing. For this treatment, you wear the CPAP device while you sleep at night to reduce the number of apnea events you experience. Many studies have found serious positives of using CPAP therapy for sleep apnea, including fewer health risks, better quality sleep, and increased libido for those who suffer from sleep apnea related sexual dysfunction. Our team can help you determine if CPAP is a good option for you and help you find options that are comfortable and effective for you.
Get Women’s Health Care Solutions from HerKare
Find health care solutions tailored to you through our teams at HerKare. We are a women’s health clinic committed to helping you feel your best. Our team listens and cares about you. We are here to hear your concerns as well as find and treat underlying causes. Our providers offer treatment solutions for a variety of conditions, including sleep apnea and menopause. Schedule your appointment today to learn how we can help you improve your overall health.
Sleep better and find more energy during menopause with hormone replacement treatment.
Many women experience insomnia during menopause. Hormone replacement therapy has been shown to help insomnia symptoms during menopause. Poor sleep quality affects you in many ways, including your mood, ability to focus, and overall wellbeing. Feeling well-rested helps you tackle your tasks effectively and enjoy your daily activities. Anyone who has experienced a bad night of sleep knows how awful it feels and how difficult it is to function on little to no sleep. Therefore, if you are experiencing insomnia during menopause, talk to your physician about how you can feel better. Your doctor may recommend hormone replacement to balance your hormones and help with your symptoms.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that can manifest in a variety of different ways. Those experiencing insomnia during menopause may experience one or more insomnia signs, including:
- Taking more than 30 minutes to fall asleep
- Waking up frequently during the night
- Rising early in the morning
- Feeling unrested even after a full night’s sleep
A good indication that you are suffering from insomnia is that you get less than six hours of sleep three or more nights per week. However, even if you get more sleep than this, you could still have insomnia. If you are feeling daytime fatigue during menopause, talk to your doctor about possible causes. Your physician may recommend hormone replacement treatment to help with insomnia and your other menopause symptoms.
The Link Between Menopause and Insomnia
Insomnia is common among women in menopause. In fact, as you age, it becomes more likely that you will experience this sleep condition:
- 16-42% of pre-menopausal women experience insomnia
- 39-47% of peri-menopausal women suffer from insomnia
- 35-60% of post-menopausal women are affected by insomnia
Therefore, menopause can increase your risk for insomnia. There are a few factors that may cause insomnia in menopausal women. For example, declining estrogen levels during menopause can cause mood disturbances and vasomotor symptoms, also known as hot flashes. Both of these symptoms can disturb your sleep quality. Therefore, hormone replacement therapy may be able to help these symptoms that disrupt your rest and help you feel more refreshed.
How Hormone Replacement Can Help Menopausal Insomnia
Luckily, hormone imbalance treatment may be able to help your insomnia symptoms during menopause. Estrogen hormone replacement during peri- and post-menopause can help ease common symptoms that affect sleep quality, like hot flashes and mood changes. Studies show that hormone replacement treatment helps menopausal women fall asleep faster, wake up fewer times during the night, strengthen their sleep cycle, and boost their REM sleep. Therefore, if you are experiencing poor sleep quality, as well as other adverse symptoms of menopause, talk to your doctor. Your physician may recommend hormone replacement therapy. This menopause treatment may be able to help you sleep better, feel more energetic, and improve your overall quality of life.
Menopause symptoms don’t have to interfere with your lifestyle. Hot flashes, insomnia, mood changes, and other common signs of low estrogen levels can prevent you from feeling your best. A physician at HerKare may be able to help you get back on track and feel better again. Contact us today if you are struggling with symptoms related to menopause. Our team of medical professionals work with you to find a personalized treatment plan for your symptoms and help you get the most out of life.
If you are feeling overly tired during menopause, hormone imbalance treatment may be able to help you. Menopause can cause insomnia-like symptoms and make you feel poorly. As we age, menopause can cause hormone imbalances because the body produces less estrogen. Changes in hormones can wreak havoc on our bodies and emotions, but there are treatments that can help alleviate your symptoms. One of these options is hormone replacement therapy.
Menopause and Sleep
Menopause can have negative impacts on your rest. Low estrogen levels can negatively impact your sleep quality. Estrogen is a hormone in your body that can help you use serotonin and other natural chemicals that help you sleep. Low estrogen can also make you more sensitive to your physical environment, meaning small changes can wake you up.
Some of the other symptoms of menopause can also contribute to poor sleep quality. For example, many women experience hot flashes and depression during menopause. Depression can often make it difficult to sleep at night, and hot flashes can prevent you from falling asleep, or even wake you up. However, hormone imbalance treatment can help with your symptoms.
How Hormone Imbalance Treatment Can Help
Hormone replacement therapy can help restore your estrogen levels, which can ease the symptoms of menopause. If you are suffering from inferior sleep caused by menopause, hormone imbalance treatment can help you sleep better by relieving your symptoms caused by a hormonal imbalance. Estrogen injections can help balance your hormone levels, which can also help you utilize the chemicals your body produces to help you go to sleep and stay asleep.
Menopause can create uncomfortable symptoms, one of which is poor sleep quality. Getting a good night’s rest is important for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Sleep is the time where your body repairs itself and allows your mind to recover from the day’s stresses. A lack of sleep can cause you to feel irritable, less focused, and can even lead to more serious health risks. Therefore, it is important that you make sure your body gets enough rest.
If you are suffering from poor sleep quality and feeling overly tired, HerKare may be able to help. Make an online appointment with us today so we can give you a thorough health assessment and help you create a personalized treatment plan to help you feel like yourself again.
You might be familiar with some of the symptoms related to menopause, such as hot flashes and fatigue, but did you know that a hormone imbalance can also affect your sleep? Many women may not even realize that their fatigue is related to various types of sleep disturbances that can be treated, assuming that it must be result of menopause in general. There are a few reasons that menopause may cause women to lose sleep.
Also known as night sweats, hot flashes can disturb your sleep. During menopause, your estrogen levels drop. This can lead to sudden bouts of feeling overheated and copious sweating. Although women may perceive that they are being awakened by these night sweats, some studies show that women actually wake up just before a hot flash occurs. This indicates that there could be brain activity that causes women to wake up along with the discomfort of being too hot. Wearing loose-fitting clothing to bed and keeping a glass of water nearby to sip can help. Hormone therapy can also treat night sweats to make sleep more comfortable.
The hormonal imbalance that accompanies menopause can cause a number of mental and emotional changes, such as depression and anxiety. This in turn can lead to insomnia. Hormone imbalance treatment can help even out your emotions so you can get a good night’s sleep again.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which people stop breathing throughout the night, either because of a blocked airway or because their brain is not sending the right signals. Menopause significantly increases the likelihood of developing sleep apnea. It is unclear why this happens although in some women, it could be related to weight gain, which is also more likely when there is a hormonal imbalance. People often associate sleep apnea with snoring, but this is not always a symptom, and women in particular may have sleep apnea even if they do not snore. Furthermore, women may not remember waking up frequently throughout the night. Menopause treatment can include being treated for sleep apnea.
Menopause is a natural time of life, but it can also cause discomfort, and health problems can result from not getting enough sleep. If you are suffering from insomnia or simply feel fatigued all the time, make an appointment with us today at HerKare. We can check your hormone levels, test you for sleep apnea and help get to the bottom of what’s making you feel bad.