Alaska Sleep Education Center

9 Ways That Menopause Can Affect Your Sleep

Posted by Paisley Hansen on Jul 7, 2022 10:39:00 AM

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. 

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Topics: alaska sleep clinic, women, menopause, Women and sleep, prevention, alaska sleep, promote better sleep

8 Ways To Sleep Well In Spite of Your Hot Flashes

Posted by Kevin Faber on Jun 15, 2022 2:16:00 AM

During perimenopause, menopause, and afterward, there's a good chance you'll experience hot flashes. They may range from gentle "power surges" to intense waves of heat that affect your functioning during the day and your ability to sleep at night. Also, they often change throughout your midlife transition and beyond. Fortunately, there are effective strategies for dealing with hot flashes during menopause and sleep more soundly. Read on for several. 

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Topics: alaska sleep clinic, women, menopause, Women and sleep, alaska sleep, hot flashes

Menopause and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Mar 14, 2019 7:38:00 AM

As women enter menopause, a decrease in the production of certain hormones causes many physical and emotional changes.  Along with hot flashes and mood fluctuations, breathing issues, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), can be more severe.  Learn about the connection between menopause, sleep and OSA—and what you can do about it.

What is OSA? 

OSA is a condition in which breathing is temporarily paused and interrupted during sleep. It can present itself as snoring or gasping for breath and is generally triggered by the throat muscles relaxing too much during the night. This causes the airway to close, leading to a gasping sensation.  More than 18 million adults have sleep apnea, and while it is more common in men, the odds of experiencing OSA increase in women during and after menopause. There’s also an increased risk if you have family members with sleep apnea, if you’re overweight, or if you smoke or drink.  

Why does menopause make it worse?

During menopause, levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone decrease in women’s bodies. These hormones act as stimulants and play a role in keeping airways open by maintaining muscle tone in the throat. As they decrease, the chances of obstructed breathing rise.  What’s more, hormonal changes can lead to weight gain and a redistribution of body fat, sending more fat to the throat area, which can cause disrupted breathing.

How can it be treated? 

Speak with your doctor about your symptoms. In some cases, a low dose of hormone therapy might be prescribed.  For mild cases of OSA, your physician may suggest lifestyle changes, like losing weight or cutting back on pre-bedtime alcoholic beverages. For moderate or severe cases of sleep apnea, using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine when you sleep could be the answer. This device moves air pressure through a mask that you wear over your nose and helps keep your upper airways open which helps you stay asleep. 

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Topics: women, OSA, menopause

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