The onset of menopause for women between the ages of 35 and 55 can increase anxiety and reduce work productivity. There is relief for sleep disorders related to the onset of menopause. With a comprehensive approach that include lifestyle adjustments, herbal supplements and alternative therapies, women regain control over their sleeping and waking lives.
The adult body requires 7 to 8 hours of deep and satisfying sleep. Women entering menopause discover that they have little control over their sleep patterns. Prior to menopause, daily stress, care-taking and work responsibilities were challenges boldly met each day after a good nights’ sleep. With the onset of menopause, women experience difficulty falling asleep, and remaining asleep. They find that themselves waking tired and unable to meet the challenges of the day.
Lack of sleep weakens the immune system leading to cold, flu and other illnesses. Sleepiness throughout the day contributes to increased anxiety, exacerbation of pre-existing medical conditions as well as decreased concentration, poor attention span, memory lapses, and mood disorders. Affecting personal and work life, women’s stress levels increase while patience decrease.
Menopause Induced Symptoms
Many people experience sleep disorders during their lifetime. Menopausal women, however, commonly suffer from symptoms related to fluctuating hormones during this transitional “change of life”. Women report common symptoms such as talking, snoring, or sleepwalking during sleep. Other experience an inability to wake from sleep, headaches upon waking, muscle weakness, fatigue, and an overwhelming urge to sleep throughout the day. These women describe fitful sleep patterns, in which upon waking, several times throughout the night, they experience restlessness and tingling in the arms and legs, as well as requiring more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, initially.
Types of Sleep Disorders
Approximately 65 million people suffer from sleep disorders, according to a recent Gallup poll. Studies note that there are approximately 70 to 80 different kinds of dysfunctional sleeping patterns. As individuals age, they may naturally require less sleep. Normal functioning, however, demands REM or deep sleep, to build energy reserves for daily functioning, despite a person’s age. A variety of sleep disorders includes insomnia, which results in an inability to fall or remain asleep. Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder that disrupts nighttime breathing, resulting in sufferers gasping for air or choking upon waking. This sleep disorder can interrupt breathing for up to ten seconds or more.
Snoring a common sleep condition becomes dysfunctional when accompanied by loud and hoarse breathing, often waking sufferers from a sound sleep. Narcolepsy causes daytime urges to sleep while driving, working and other inopportune and potentially dangerous times. Another common sleep disturbance is restless leg syndrome that causes tingling and itching sensations in the arms and legs. Sufferers wake from sleep and find they need to move around, get up, or walk off this uncomfortable sensation, in order to return to sleep.
Of these sleep disorders, women in the onset of menopause report insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg, and snoring as the most common sleep disorders. Additional symptoms of menopause correlated to sleep disorders such as hot flashes, night sweats, and anxiety, depressive symptoms that result in difficulty obtaining and maintaining healthy sleeping patterns. Upon waking, these night-time disruptions cause fatigue, sleepiness, lack of concentration, memory lapses, and muscle weakness, a loss for words, interrupted speech, and difficulty learning new tasks. This daytime dysfunction leads to higher instances of automobile and machinery accidents due to poor concentration.
With and increased inability to focus, attend to task and fatigue women report enhanced work and personal relationship stress. Additional symptoms of sleep disorders include weight gain, mood swings, apathy, impatience, anxiety, and an overwhelming inability to complete daily tasks. Long-term sleep disorders are dangerous. Functioning with insufficient rest causes severe fatigue and even psychosis. Sleep deprivation stress the cardiovascular system, increase blood pressure, and disrupts the digestive system.
Consulting a Medical Health Professional
Menopausal women may wish to consult a medical professional for drug and risk-free options for treating sleep disorders. Women with difficulty breathing in cases of sleep apnea should consult their physician. In addition, menopausal women with persisting symptoms of sleep dysfunction increasing risk of accident and danger should contact a medical health professional for additional diagnosis and treatment. With small percentages of women suffering from severely debilitating symptoms of hormone imbalances, many women find relief from simple lifestyle changes and alternative therapies.