Sleep Challenges During Perimenopause and Menopause

Woman Sleeping in Bed

Sleep Challenges During Perimenopause and Menopause

Woman Sleeping in Bed

Raise your hand if you could use some help catching some more zzzzz’s? Trouble sleeping is one of the biggest complaints among women in their 40’s and 50’s.

Let’s face it, when you aren’t sleeping well, your fuse is shorter, you tend to reach for quick pick-me-ups for an energy boost (hello 3 pm coffee & cookie!), and are less motivated to exercise.

When women in perimenopause are stressed out, not eating well, and not moving their bodies, other common symptoms of perimenopause can begin to rage. Things like hot flashes or night sweats, brain fog, mood swings, and lost libido to name a few…

And the vicious cycle continues and women are left feeling tired, confused, and overwhelmed.
Sleep is a cornerstone of our well-being, but it often eludes many women as they transition through perimenopause and menopause. Hormonal fluctuations, lifestyle changes, and age-related factors can all conspire to disrupt a once-restful night’s sleep.

Hormonal Havoc

Hormones play a pivotal role in regulating our sleep patterns. As women approach perimenopause and menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels begin to fluctuate erratically. These hormonal changes can lead to sleep disturbances, including difficulty falling asleep, night sweats, and restless legs.[1]

Lifestyle Factors

Beyond hormonal shifts, lifestyle factors also contribute to sleep issues during perimenopause and menopause. Increased stress levels, sedentary behavior, and poor dietary habits, and poor blood sugar management can all exacerbate sleep problems.[2] Stress, in particular, can trigger the “wired but tired” feeling that plagues many women during these phases.

Sleep Hygiene

Proper sleep hygiene becomes crucial when combating sleep challenges. Though it might seem simple, creating a sleep-conducive environment and turning off technology can have a significant impact on a good night’s sleep.[3] This includes keeping the bedroom dark, cool, and free of distractions.

Perimenopause and menopause are significant life transitions that bring unique sleep challenges. Hormonal fluctuations, lifestyle adjustments, and the quality of sleep environment all influence the quality of rest during this time. By understanding these challenges and implementing evidence-based strategies, women can improve their sleep quality and embrace this transformative stage with grace.

If you’re looking for a holistic approach to managing your changing hormones in perimenopause and menopause, I help women navigate both the physical and emotional aspects of perimenopause and menopause so you can go from feeling exhausted, foggy, and irritable to clear, confident, and energized, in a way you can keep up with.

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1. **Politi MC, Yoon S, Magaziner J, et al.** “Stress-related Symptoms in Women Complain of Perimenopausal Sleep Disturbance: A Pragmatic Approach to Assessment.” *Menopause.* 2019;26(2):184-190.
2. **Whitney MP, Chan SY, Huynh N, et al.** “Associations Between Lifestyle Factors and Sleep Outcomes in Midlife Women.” *Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.* 2021;17(9):1819-1827.
3. **Kim KH, Lacey JV, Lee H.** “Factors Affecting Sleep Quality in Midlife Women: Findings from the Menopausal Transition and Fracture Risk Study.” *Journal of Women’s Health.* 2019;28(10):1395-1403.

Written by Allison Poole, PT, MPT, WHC

Allison takes a modern approach to women's hormone and pelvic health by taking the hard work and confusion out of caring for your body. She combines her 20 years of clinical expertise, compassion and personal experience to help women navigate perimenopause and menopause with ease.

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