During menopause, it is said that the number of people who have trouble sleeping, such as sleeping lightly or waking up in the middle, is increasing.
The cause is thought to be that disturbed sleep is caused by unpleasant symptoms such as sweating and hot flashes caused by hormonal imbalance during sleep1 ) .
In addition, if you have mental stress such as worry and anxiety, you are more likely to increase the risk of insomnia 2) .
Find out in this article
- Effects of menopause on sleep
- Various causes of insomnia
- Effects of lack of sleep on the body
- How to improve sleep quality
Menopause can cause sleep disturbances
During menopause, hormones can fluctuate dramatically and sleep disturbances can occur.
Women going through menopause commonly complain of poor sleep quality, sleep deprivation, nighttime awakening, and apnea1).
One of the causes of insomnia in menopause is considered to be light sleep due to hot flashes and night sweats at night. If this is the reason you are having trouble sleeping, hormone therapy may be used.
Hormone therapy and Chinese herbal medicine are used to treat menopausal disorders.
Although the causes of sleep disturbances during menopause are not fully understood, menopausal hormone therapy can play a role in improving sleep quality1).
Possible causes of insomnia other than menopause
In addition to menopause, insomnia has various causes. There are five main causes of insomnia: stress, physical illness or injury, lifestyle habits and sleep environment, mental illness, drugs and stimulants.
Since coping methods and treatment methods differ depending on the cause of insomnia, coping methods to identify and eliminate the cause and treatment using sleeping pills are performed.
Insomnia can be caused by stress such as anxiety and excitement.
There are various reasons for stress, such as work worries and death in the family, but it is said that stress and tension interfere with sleep.
In particular, women with high chronic stress tend to have poor subjective sleep quality and complain of insomnia2).
physical illness or injury
Insomnia can be caused by physical illness or injury.
Physical discomfort such as itching and pain can interfere with sleep and lead to insomnia5).
In addition, it is said that insomnia such as waking up at night due to dyspnea due to bronchial asthma and obstructive pulmonary disease, and frequent urination caused by prostatic hyperplasia, etc.
Lifestyle and sleep environment
Insomnia may be caused by your lifestyle and sleep environment.
It may be caused by lifestyle habits such as day and night reversed due to night work, noise at bedtime, cold or heat, sleeping environment such as bedroom brightness.
The temperature and humidity in the bedroom and bed affect the ability to fall asleep and the depth of sleep through the mechanism of thermoregulation5). Also, bright light can wake you up, so if your bedroom is too bright before you go to bed, especially if it's a whitish color, you'll have poor sleep5).
illness of the heart
Insomnia can be caused by mental illness such as depression.
In the case of insomnia associated with depression, if depression is not diagnosed and appropriate psychiatric treatment is not performed, administration of sleeping pills alone may not improve symptoms5). If depression is suspected, prompt diagnosis and treatment by a specialist is required5).
drugs or stimulants
Insomnia may be caused by drugs, caffeine, nicotine, etc.
Caffeine, which is often found in coffee and energy drinks, and nicotine, which is found in cigarettes, can cause insomnia.
Anti-Parkinson drugs such as levodopa and amantadine, beta-blockers such as propranonol used as antihypertensives, corticosteroids, and interferon are known to be causative agents5).
Try essential oils and aromas
Research reports on the effects of essential oils and aromas on the quality of sleep have recently attracted attention.
Regarding the effects of aromatherapy on sleep, there are many studies using lavender, and it has been reported that sleep time is extended and parasympathetic nerve activity is increased 6). The parasympathetic nervous system is the nerve that relaxes the body.
There is also a research report showing that an aromatic bath or aromatherapy treatment during sleep reduces anxiety, improves mood when waking up, and improves sleep efficiency6).
How sleep deprivation affects your body
Sleep has a function to recover mental and physical fatigue.
Specifically, it is reported to increase the risk of various diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and depression3 ) .
In addition, daytime sleepiness and poor physical condition may lead to a decline in performance in work, housework, hobbies, etc., and the quality of life may decline. Stress can also cause insomnia, so it is important to gradually adjust your sleep cycle4 ) .
How to improve your sleep quality
Here are some proven ways to help you sleep better and stay healthy.
Review what you eat before going to bed and after waking up
Eating breakfast helps you wake up in the morning. These lifestyle habits can help you balance your sleep and wakefulness rhythms. On the other hand, it is necessary to be careful not to eat a late-night snack just before going to bed, as it will prevent you from falling asleep.
In addition, it is said that the content of the diet affects menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. Since symptoms such as hot flashes are likely to interfere with sleep, it may be a good idea to review your diet5).
Also read the following articles
What nutrients are needed during menopause? Introducing recommended foods
don't drink caffeine before bed
Caffeine, which is abundant in coffee, black tea, green tea, energy drinks, etc., has stimulating and diuretic effects. In particular, it is said that the awakening effect of caffeine lasts for about 3 hours.
If you consume caffeine about 3 hours before going to bed, it may interfere with falling asleep, lighten your sleep , or wake you up with the urge to urinate.
Pay attention to alcohol and tobacco that lower the quality of sleep
It has been reported that when you drink alcohol and go to bed, you wake up more frequently and sleep less. Alcohol makes you sleepy, but the effect is temporary. Avoid drinking alcohol before going to bed to prevent poor sleep quality.
In addition, nicotine contained in cigarettes has a stimulating effect, and smoking before bedtime interferes with falling asleep and makes it difficult to fall asleep.
It has also been reported that drinking alcohol and smoking before going to bed may increase the risk of sleep apnea syndrome. Sleep apnea syndrome further reduces the quality of sleep and causes various diseases, so caution is required 5) .
Prepare your sleeping environment
Creating an environment for sleeping is also important. In particular, the temperature, humidity, and brightness of the bedroom are said to affect sleep.
It is a good idea to set the room temperature to a comfortable temperature, and try to block out the light, as bright rooms will wake you up5 ) .
If there is no improvement, consult a doctor
If you've tried a variety of methods and still have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor or specialist. Sleep problems are not only linked to all kinds of diseases, but they are also prone to mental distress.
Mental disorders can lead to sleep problems, so don't take on the problem alone, and consider consulting a doctor4 )5) .
Incorporating Chinese herbal medicine may lead to alleviation of various symptoms
Taking herbal medicine is also effective for painful menopausal symptoms. Kampo medicine comprehensively reviews various things such as the person's constitution and lifestyle, and gradually improves symptoms from the inside of the body. There are various herbal medicines, but the herbal medicines that are effective for menopausal symptoms are as follows.
- Kamishoyosan: Depression, irritation, hot flashes, hot flashes, etc.
- Toki shakuyakusan: Tendency to coldness and anemia
- Keishibukuryogan: Hot flashes, headache, lower abdominal pain, etc.
There are individual differences in menopausal symptoms, and it is necessary to take Chinese herbal medicine that matches the symptoms . Kampo medicine gradually improves the symptoms, so it is easy to incorporate it into your life, so if you want to alleviate the symptoms little by little, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
▼ You can consult Kampo on LINE
Click here for a free consultation supervised by a doctor
That's all about the 5 ways to improve the quality of sleep during menopause and the causes of insomnia.
During menopause, it is said that more people have trouble sleeping due to the effects of hormone balance.
By incorporating the methods introduced in this article, you may be able to make your daily sleep a little better.
Canvas's test kit "Menopause Check" allows you to self-check whether the symptoms you are concerned about are related to menopause or due to other factors, based on the balance of hormones related to ovulation and physical condition. increase. Please try it at home. More details can be found here .
1) Giulia Gava.Cognition, Mood and Sleep in Menopausal Transition: The Role of Menopause Hormone Therapy.2019 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6843314/
2) Martica H Hall. Chronic Stress is Prospectively Associated with Sleep in Midlife Women: The SWAN Sleep Study.2015 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26039965/
3) Faith S. Luyster.Sleep: A Health Imperative.2012 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3353049/
4) Yuriko Doi. Frequency and health effects of sleep disorders in Japan.2012 https://www.niph.go.jp/journal/data/61-1/201261010002.pdf
5) Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Health Service Bureau. Sleep guidelines for health promotion.
6) Hitomi Takeda. Effects of olfactory and tactile stimulation in aromatherapy on quality of sleep.2016 https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/aeaj/17/1/17_170104/_pdf/-char /en