What causes sleep disturbances in menopause?

Updated: Jan 30, 2019
  • Author: Nita V Bhatt, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Ana Hategan, MD, FRCPC  more...
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Answer

Answer

Sleep disturbances during menopause have been associated with estrogen deficiency; exogenous estrogen has been shown to improve both subjective and objective sleep, attributed to a decrease in hot flashes. [14] One study suggested that elevated LH levels during late menopause produce poor sleep quality through a thermoregulatory mechanism, resulting in high core body temperatures. [15]

Whether the sleep problems are associated with age-related changes in sleep architecture, hormonal status, or other symptoms of menopause (eg, vasomotor symptoms) is unclear. However, in the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health, women who were transitioning into menopause were more likely to report severe sleep difficulty than women who were premenopausal. [16]


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