What's Stealing Your Sleep?
WOMAN - UK|November 02, 2021
Up to two thirds of menopausal women regularly experience sleeplessness*, but there are effective ways to treat insomnia
Dr Philippa Kaye

WHEN TO GET HELP?

If you have another health condition that is affecting your sleep, such as pain, then please speak to your doctor. Also contact them if you think that your sleep issues may be due to mental health and a symptom of depression or anxiety, for example, as this may require treatment. If these don’t apply and your sleep is still disturbed after consistently trying the sleep hygiene techniques mentioned here (any new habit takes time), then seek advice.

Sleep is, quite simply, essential. We all know the effects of not getting enough or how we feel after a bad night’s rest. Fatigue affects your ability to concentrate, your mood might be lower, and you may be more irritable or tearful.

Poor sleep also has an impact on appetite, making you hungrier – and we all know how our food choices change when we are tired! The body needs sleep for it to function and so that it can heal and repair itself. It helps the brain to store information and allows the nerve cells to rewire. It’s crucial for us to feel well and happy, but most of us have had periods when sleep seems out of reach.

This often coincides with any change in routine, such as travel, a change in work or relationship circumstances, or some kind of conflict. Both physical and psychological factors can be involved. For example, you may not be able to sleep if you are in pain, or are hungry, or your sleep will be disturbed if you have to get up at night multiple times to go to the toilet.

Hormonal changes during perimenopause and menopause can also impact your sleep and cause insomnia. You may be kept awake, or be woken up, by hot flushes and sweats, joint pain, or palpitations – caused by the drop in estrogen levels.

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