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The menopause and insomnia link

Sarah Kelsey is a lifestyle writer, editor and spokesperson based in Toronto. She was the editor of AOL/The Huffington Post Canada’s StyleList, Style and Living sites. Today, she's a freelancer writing for some of North America’s top pub...

Menopause and insomnia

If going through the ups and downs of menopause weren’t enough, there’s another reason to worry. In a recent survey, 76 percent of women said insomnia during menopause moderately to significantly affected their overall quality of life. SheKnows.com chatted with Karen Giblin, president and founder of Red Hot Mamas, to learn more about the menopause and insomnia link.

Woman with insomnia

Insomnia is a common symptom of menopause


According to Giblin, insomnia is a very common symptom of menopause, largely because of the huge hormonal shifts happening in the body. Menopausal women may struggle to get the sleep they need and often consider it normal because so many women experience it.

Insomnia harms your health

"The sleeplessness women experience as a result of their menopause can affect multiple aspects of their lives, including work, relationships and even parenting," says Giblin. "Many women experience daytime drowsiness or fatigue, irritability and difficulty concentrating because of it."

Other side effects include stress and strain on the heart and cardiovascular system as well as muscle fatigue, weight gain, diabetes and certain forms of cancer.

Manage menopause: Reduce the effects of insomnia

Talk to your doctor

According to Giblin, there are several things women can do to address the insomnia they may experience as a result of menopause. "The first and most important step is to address the issue with their doctor or healthcare professional. Interestingly, one of the most compelling findings from a recent survey was that both women and doctors are not proactively addressing the issue. As a result, it often remains unresolved for women."

Raise your awareness

After that conversation is initiated, adds Giblin, women should get educated on the subject and work closely with their doctor to develop a treatment plan. Ensuring the bedroom or sleeping space is peaceful and soothing -- eliminating excess light, investing in a good mattress, etc. -- is also an important part of the insomnia management process.

"It is absolutely critical women proactively address their insomnia," says Giblin. "The effects of being sleep-deprived can take a significant toll on their lives."

More ways to manage menopause

Red Hot Mamas is the nation's largest menopause management education program. Its mission is to broaden the base of women's knowledge about menopause and empower them to become educated healthcare consumers and active participants in the management of their menopause. For more information on the link between menopause and insomnia, and to view additional statistics, visit www.takebackyoursleep.com.

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