If you're going through menopause, chances are you're noticing changes in your sleep patterns. This is completely normal, and it's probably reassuring to know that your experience will be a unique one. At times, you may not even notice any issues at all! That said, read on for a rundown of factors that may contribute to sleep changes in menopause.
You might sleep for a longer or shorter time than usual, or find that you need varying lengths of sleep to function at your best. As years go by, you may need less — or more. Concerned about how your sleep patterns are changing? Do a search using terms such as menopause and sleep to find helpful information and support.
Occasionally, you might notice that you're waking up much earlier than usual, or sleeping in later. Also, your sleep patterns might be disrupted so that you rise frequently during the night. Getting tired early in the evening is common; this can result in a too-early awakening.
During menopause, your sleep might be lighter than usual, with a change in dream frequency and intensity. Or, you might linger in that twilight zone between sleep and waking. It may be harder to get deep, restorative sleep.
The hormonal rollercoaster of menopause can cause long-suppressed emotional issues to rise to the surface at unexpected times. If you're waking up during the night, you might find yourself affected by an emotional intensity that makes it difficult to go back to sleep. If you find that your emotions constantly interfere with your sleep, seek out support from a licensed counselor who can provide caring support and refer you to a medical doctor if necessary.
Hot flashes are common during menopause, although not every woman gets them. If they're significant, they can strike at any time during the night, making it a challenge to fall or stay asleep. Fortunately, many medical and holistic approaches are effective for relieving hot flashes.
Do you have some work-related loose ends that you still need to tie up? There's a good chance that they'll pop into your mind as you try and fall asleep during menopause. Fluctuating hormones can affect thought processes. Chances are, you're bearing a lot of responsibility during the transition; be compassionate with yourself.
Speaking of transitions, many women are experiencing challenges such as caregiving, loss, and relational changes during menopause. These life events can dramatically affect sleep. It's essential to seek out support from others if you're experiencing significant life events while going through the transition. Seek out life-giving friendships, healthy support groups, and professional assistance to help you navigate these choppy waters. It will make a powerful, positive impact on your sleep and overall health.
Sexual issues can surface as you experience the physical and emotional changes of menopause. If you have a regular partner, complications in intimacy can make it a challenge to sleep comfortably and deeply. Be assertive about your needs; your ability to sleep soundly will affect all areas of functioning.
As you go through the menopausal transition, your role in your family may change. You may choose to delegate or pull back on responsibilities that you had welcomed during your childbearing years. If you're married or partnered, your relationship might go through a period of adjustment. While these important issues are still in flux, you may find that sleep problems get more intense. As you resolve them, your sleep will probably improve.
Menopause can affect your sleep in obvious and subtle ways. Keep these factors in mind as you navigate your transition.