Why Menopause Affects Sleep
Hormone changes that occur during menopause can disrupt normal sleep cycles. Declines in estrogen commonly cause hot flashes and night sweats that can abruptly wake you up from a deep sleep. Anxiety and depression are also very common and can make it difficult to “turn off the brain” and get a good restful and restorative night’s sleep. Joint Pain and bladder problems also increase.
During menopause, you are likely to awaken suddenly for a multitude of reasons, and falling back asleep can be very difficult. Melatonin is the hormone that helps us fall asleep naturally reduces with age in all sexes; however, it also reduces in menopausal women because it is closely linked to estrogen and progesterone levels.
Animal studies have shown an inhibitory action of melatonin in the synthesis of female gonadal hormones.
Melatonin is strongly associated with light energy and it is very important to consider and modify the lighting around you as you attempt to sleep. In fact, lighting may be the single most important factor to consider with regard to melatonin.
How To Improve Menopause Related Sleep Problems
Hormone Replacement Therapy
A very traditional treatment that can be in the form of a pill, patch, or vaginal cream that contains estrogen and is sometimes combined with progesterone. HRT has been proven to help reduce the occurrences of hot flashes, night sweats, chronic pain, mood, and bladder problems related to menopausal hormone changes.
This is another common option for those with less severe symptoms or for those who choose not to use HRT. Low doses of fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Brisdelle, Paxil), venlafaxine (Effexor), gabapentin, etc. have been shown to help those in menopause get a better night’s sleep
Non-Medical Steps To Improve Sleep
There are a number of non-medication steps you can take to help you stay cooler at night and get a great night of restful sleep:
- Wear lightweight loose natural fiber cloths like cotton
- Keep temperatures cool and well ventilated
- Avoid certain foods (spicy foods) before bedtime
- Keep a regular bedtime schedule
- Do not watch TV, eat, or read while in bed
- Exercise regularly (not right before bedtime)
- Avoid excessive caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine
- Try not to take naps during the day
- Make sure your bladder is empty before lying down in bed
Well Theory’s Restful Sleep Gummies
Melatonin has demonstrated a general improvement in mood and sleep quality with modulation of depression as well for peri and menopausal women. This would seem to suggest that melatonin supplementation or replacement can help with many symptoms of menopause. However, melatonin has not been found to be definitely helpful with vasomotor symptoms. Melatonin has some anti-estrogenic effects. It interferes with receptors for estrogen. It inhibits enzymes that convert androgens to estrogens. It also decreases estradiol levels.
For sleep, dosing ranges from 1-10mg and up to 250mg (physiologic). It is recommended to take it 30 minutes before bedtime.
This formula contains tart cherry extract, melatonin, GABA, and chamomile extract. Tart Cherry Extract reduces inflammation and provides essential antioxidants to support your body’s fight against oxidative stress. It also contains natural levels of melatonin to support a healthy sleep cycle. Melatonin is actually one of the strongest antioxidants our bodies make. GABA, Chamomile Extract, and Melatonin work to gently re-establish a healthy circadian rhythm, promote calm & relaxation & more.