Many women suffer from problems falling asleep, hot flashes and sleep disorders in the years around menopause. Here we explain why sleep suffers when hormone metabolism is out of balance and what women can do to get good sleep even during menopause.
Table of Contents
- What is menopause?
- What happens during menopause?
- Common symptoms during menopause
- Sleep disorders during menopause
- Tips for sleep during menopause
1. What is menopause?
Menopause (climacteric) is a normal phase of every woman's life, which means the end of the fertile period. During menopause, major changes in the hormonal balance take place and the female cycle comes to an end with the onset of the so-called menopause. The last years before, the year during and after menopause are therefore typically referred to as menopause.
The first signs of menopause usually appear between the ages of 40 and 50 and can last for several years. However, the onset and duration vary from woman to woman, as do the symptoms that arise. While some women experience no physical or psychological changes, others suffer from intense discomfort and severe sleep disorders.
2. What happens during menopause?
During menopause, the change in female hormone production begins, especially the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Your body's production continues to decrease and eventually stops completely. The hormonal changes are often associated with noticeable physical changes. The hormonal imbalance leads to cycle irregularities, including the absence of menstruation (menopause), and other symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep disorders and mood swings can also occur.
The sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are involved in numerous metabolic processes in our body and not only influence the female cycle. In addition to its important role in cycle regulation, progesterone has a positive effect on bone formation, stimulates metabolism, regulates digestion and has a calming effect on the nervous system and the psyche. Estrogen inhibits the breakdown of bone mass, supports a healthy metabolism, has an antidepressant effect and contributes to healthy nerve and brain function. During the menopause, the female body first has to get used to the new hormonal conditions.
3. Common symptoms during menopause
Around two thirds of women suffer from various mild to severe symptoms during menopause. Hot flashes, sleep disorders and mood swings are considered the most common and well-known symptoms. And in fact, more than 80% of premenopausal women are affected by hot flashes and up to 60% suffer from significant sleep disorders.
Fluctuations in hormone levels are thought to disrupt the body's thermoregulation, as both estrogen and progesterone are involved in regulating heart activity and body temperature. This makes it easier to break out in sweats and spontaneous feelings of heat, which also occur at night and can further disrupt sleep.
There may also be increased headaches, constipation, joint and muscle pain, loss of libido or an increased feeling of exhaustion, and psychological symptoms such as inner restlessness, anxiety and depressive moods are also possible.
4. Sleep disorders during menopause
Every second woman suffers from sleep problems or sleep disorders during the menopause. The changes in hormone metabolism can also directly influence sleep behavior and quickly cause problems falling asleep and staying asleep. The low estrogen level not only promotes hot flashes or night sweats, but also reduces melatonin production. The body's own production of the sleep hormone decreases slightly as age , so that the deep sleep phases are naturally shorter and the depth of sleep is shallower. Due to the lack of progesterone, its relaxing and sleep-inducing effect is also missing.
And that's not all: for many women, menopause is also a time of personal or professional upheaval. This often results in stress and everyday worries, which put a strain on the psyche and prevent you from getting enough rest. Many women then wake up more frequently at night and cannot fall asleep straight away. All of these factors mean that women during menopause suffer from stress and mood swings more quickly and sleep patterns can be significantly disrupted.
5. Tips for sleep during menopause
In order to still get enough and restful sleep, women during menopause should pay attention to good sleep hygiene and a healthy diet. In order to lift your mood during the day and promote sleep in the evening (you can find more information about this in this article), some exercise and lots of daylight should be integrated into your everyday life. At the same time, you should also take enough time for rest and relaxation. With relaxing evening routines, you can find peace in the evening more easily so that your body and mind get in the mood for sleep. In our sleep magazine you will already find many tips for an all-round healthy sleep.
The fact that the body is in transition and reacts sensitively to the hormonal changes is a completely natural process and should not make any woman feel bad. To alleviate the symptoms and improve well-being, herbal relaxants or sedatives, for example, can help. However, if the symptoms become too severe or become a permanent burden, you should definitely seek medical advice.
During menopause, the female hormonal balance begins to change and the production of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone decreases.
Around two thirds of women suffer from mild to severe symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep disorders and mood swings during menopause.
Good sleep hygiene, a healthy diet, lots of exercise in daylight, relaxing evening routines and herbal sedatives help support restful sleep.
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