Menopause And Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome is a condition that causes a severe urge to move the legs and can be accompanied by unusual, unpleasant or tingling sensations in the legs. Itâs not clear exactly what causes RLS, but there are several underlying conditions that may trigger it.
Many women report experiencing RLS during the menopause but this is one symptom that is linked to but not caused by the menopause. What we know is that RLS is twice as prevalent in women compared to men and that the incidence of RLS increases with age.
This may be why women report RLS more often during the menopausal transition. Itâs thought that falling oestrogen levels could play a role in RLS during the menopause. Oestrogen is important for muscle relaxation, so the changes that occur in oestrogen levels during this transition could contribute to RLS symptoms.12
If you think youâre experiencing RLS then speak to your healthcare provider as itâs a sleep problem that responds very well to treatment.
Happily, there are various options available to treat it. Methods include:
- non-drug treatments such as massage or exercise
- reducing caffeine intake
- using distraction techniques in bed
- medication to control the movement and calm the muscles.
How To Identify Menopause Brain Fog
Menopause brain fog usually crops up as trouble with attention, working memory, executive function, and/or verbal memory. Whats worrisome is that some women have been misdiagnosed with dementia or Alzheimers when really their memory problems were caused by menopause itself. So, how would you know the difference?
These declines are subtle. Women dont become impaired, but may find that they have to work harder to function at their typical level, explains Weber. Some examples of what women might notice is that they have more difficulty multitasking, have word-finding difficulties, feel more forgetful, or have difficulty concentrating.
You might find yourself needing to make more lists or write down appointments on a calendar that you might previously have remembered without any trouble. But, know that the problems are usually going to be with your short-term memory, not the long-term one. Remote memoriesrecalling childhood, significant life events, things from five years ago, and so oneare not typically affected, says Weber.
Symptoms can begin in early midlifeages 45 to 55but its really less about age and more about the womans reproductive stage, according to a report published in theJournal of Neuroscience.
Other Physical And Mental Changes At Midlife
Some common midlife changes that are often attributed to menopause are not necessarily related to the fluctuating or decreasing hormone levels of menopause. The four most commonly reported changes include mood changes and depression insomnia or other sleep problems cognitive or memory problems and decline in sexual desire, function, or both. Other physical changes that crop up in the middle years include weight gain, urinary incontinence, heart palpitations, dry skin and hair, and headaches. For these, a hormonal link is possible, but has not been proved. Consider the fact that men, who don’t experience a dramatic drop in hormone levels in their early 50s, often notice many of these same symptoms!
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Theanine And Lemon Balm Complex
L-theanine may improve sleep quality by supporting normal mental function. Beyond increasing the feel-good neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine, this amino acid also elevates GABA . These calming brain chemicals help to regulate emotions and mood, which may inspire the relaxation needed for sleep.Lemon balm is also known for its soothing properties, helping to prime the body for rest. In one study, researchers revealed that supplementing children with lemon balm and valerian improved their insomnia symptoms by a remarkable 70-80 per cent .In combination, L-theanine and lemon balm are a powerful duo that may promote relaxation and aid quality sleep in menopause. Try supplementing with a quality Theanine & Lemon Balm Complex, delivering 200mg and 600mg, respectively.
Perimenopause And Sleep Disturbance
Perimenopause comes with rapid changes in various hormone levels. Hormones are âchemical messengersâ your body uses to regulate important things like metabolism, menstrual cycles, sleep, and more. As such, a perimenopausal shift in certain hormone levels can dramatically affect different aspects of your bodyâs biology.
Consider melatonin, for example. Melatonin is a hormone your body releases into the bloodstream to promote a regular sleep-wake cycle.
As you age, however, your body releases less and less melatonin. A study by EverlyWellâs clinical research team â presented at the NIHâs âSleep and the Health of Womenâ conference last year â found that melatonin levels are lower among women aged 50 and over compared to women under age 50 .
Melatonin is a hormone that promotes a regular sleep-wake cycle by controlling your body’s “internal clock,” or circadian rhythm.
Many women begin entering menopause around this age â in the United States, the average age for entering menopause is 51 â which strongly suggests that melatonin levels play a role in the sleep issues often experienced by women transitioning into menopause.
Whatâs more, thereâs evidence that sleep quality can be particularly poor if hormone levels change very quickly . So if â for example â repeated testing with a Perimenopause Test reveals that your estradiol levels are falling very sharply, you might be at an especially high risk of experiencing sleep problems.
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The Insomnia And Menopause Link
Sleep disturbances are extremely prevalent and a challenging problem for midlife women, says Steven Goldstein, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York University School of Medicine and president of the board of the North American Menopause Society. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, 61 percent of perimenopausal and postmenopausal women report frequent bouts of insomnia.
Dr. Goldstein says its important to figure out why your sleep is disturbed. He explains that sometimes the cause is hormonal changes related to menopause, and sometimes the problem is another age-related health condition such as incontinence or joint pain. Midlife stresses such as anxiety over work and family can also interfere with sleep. And if you werent a great sleeper to begin with, entering menopause can make insomnia even worse.
Why Do Menopausal Women Have A Hard Time Sleeping
Hormone levels fluctuate throughout perimenopause and postmenopause, and this is whats responsible for most side effects women experience, including sleep changes. During this transition, the body produces less estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Estrogen directly affects sleep, in that higher levels of it are associated with mental sharpness, positive mood, and good sleep patterns. Progesterone has a calming effect on the body, helping us to relax and maintain a positive mental state. Testosterone is mostly responsible for sex drive but also boosts overall energy. When these three hormones are at lower levels, its no wonder why regular, restful sleep is one of the first things to go for many women during middle age.
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Ways You Can Help And Support Your Wife Or Partner
Genitourinary Syndromes Of Menopause
A 2015 study revealed that 45%-63% of menopausal women experienced bladder and vaginal symptoms including nocturia , soreness and irritation, and dyspareunia . The decline in oestrogen leads to atrophic changes of the delicate tissues in the bladder and vagina, which can cause sleep disturbance.
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Menopause And Insomnia: Natural Remedies That Can Help You Sleep Better
The changes a woman goes through at the end of her reproductive period are called menopause. This is a completely normal condition that every woman experiences in the later years of her life. However, due to the fluctuating hormones that occur it can also be a nuisance. Hot flashes are the symptom that most recall in relation to this condition, but insomnia is also a common side effect.
How Is Menopause Insomnia Treated
The most common remedy for menopause sleep problems is hormone replacement therapy , which is designed to replace the hormones your body is no longer making.
You take estrogen as a pill, patch, or vaginal cream, sometimes along with progesterone.
HRT isnt suitable for everyone, and if its not a good option for you, there are still alternatives.
Taking a low-dose selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor is one option.
SSRIs are usually prescribed for your mental health, but they can also help reduce the frequency and effects of hot flashes and let you get some better quality sleep.
What Do We Mean By Sleep Issues
There is a difference between having a bad nights sleep, sleep issues and Insomnia. Insomnia is likely if you are having trouble sleeping at least three nights a week for three months or more.
Whether you have sleep issues or insomnia, not being able to sleep night after night is frustrating and can leave you feeling desperate. When you do finally drop off, waking up is difficult and its hard to function the next day at work and deal with the day-to-day.
Find out more about insomnia in our symptoms library.
I dreaded going to bed and dreaded the alarm after what seemed like an impossibly short time asleep. There is nothing like that feeling of panic when you realise sleep isnt coming
- Difficulty getting to sleep: Unable to fall asleep within 30 minutes of going to bed
- Difficulty staying asleep: Fewer than six hours of sleep several times a week
- Awakening several times a night: Lying awake and not getting back to sleep
- Early morning awakening: Waking early but feeling unrested
- Poor quality of sleep: Feeling tired during the day and finding it hard to concentrate
How You May Have Interpreted The Signs And Symptoms Of The Menopause
- I often feel rejected, particularly in bed.
- I wonder if shes having an affair.
- I think shes suffering from depression.
- I suspect/know that shes troubled by some health issues.
- Her work is causing her stress causing her to be tetchy, and Im bearing the brunt of it.
- I think she is taking it badly that the children have left home empty nest syndrome and all that.
- Im not sure that she loves me anymore.
- I think that shes cottoned on to my misdemeanours
Of course, these may or may not be accurate but the menopause is likely to have played a role.
Hopefully, youll have read Part 1 and youre now better able to place your experience and your problems in the context of your wifes menopausal symptoms.
Youll understand now that the physical and emotional symptoms of the menopause are all too real. And, they can potentially exacerbate pre-existing relationship issues!
The good news is you can do much to bring about some peace and calm and save your marriage.
Lets get cracking with ways to help your wife through this period of change since you searched for information about the menopause for husbands or partners.
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How Long Does Menopause Insomnia Last
And does insomnia improve after menopause?
If youre experiencing menopause insomnia, you might be wondering how long you can expect it to last and if itll improve after menopause is over.
But while it would be great to know exactly how long insomnia lasts during and after menopause, everyone has a different experience.
The first menopause symptoms can appear as long as seven years before you have your last period, and some symptoms can continue even after the official menopause .
The good news is, you have options for treating menopause sleep problems. Lets take a look.
Summary: How Can I Sleep Better During Menopause
While the menopausal transition can affect sleep, thereâs no reason to let it disrupt your sleep or to think itâs something you canât change. Hereâs our list of some simple steps you can take to ensure you get a good nightâs sleep:
- Keep your bedroom cool and well-ventilated
- Try having layers of bedding so that you can easily adjust the heat
- Sleep in loose clothing â cotton and linen are usually best
- Avoid spicy food, especially near bedtime
- Cut back on nicotine, coffee and alcohol if possible
- Limit screen-time in the evening
- Establish and maintain a bedtime routine
- Exercise regularly each day, but not too close to bedtime
- Look at ways to manage your stress and try to make time to relax.
These tips are general ways to improve sleep during the menopause but if you have a sleep disorder, you may need more a tailored solution. Thatâs where Sleepstationâs NHS-accredited sleep improvement programme can help.
If you are going through the menopause and feel like your sleep is suffering, sign up to Sleepstation. Whether youâre struggling with hot flushes, restless legs, insomnia or just feel like youâre always waking up tired and canât figure out why, weâll help you find your way to back to good sleep.
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Is Insomnia Treated Differently When Its Related To Menopause
If your insomnia is related to menopause, you may find relief through balancing your hormone levels. There are several options for this, including:
- Hormone replacement therapy. This therapy can supplement your estrogen levels while the natural levels decline during perimenopause and menopause.
- Low-dose birth control. A low dose may be able to stabilize hormone levels, which could ease insomnia.
- Low-dose antidepressants. Medications that alter your brain chemicals may help you find sleep.
You may also consider taking melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps control your sleep and wake cycles. It can help restore your sleep cycle.
If your doctor suspects that your recent insomnia is the result of a medication or a side effect of medication interactions, they will work with you to find better medication options that dont affect your sleep.
Getting A Good Nights Sleep During The Menopausal Transition
To improve your sleep through the menopausal transition and beyond:
- Follow a regular sleep schedule. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day.
- Avoid napping in the late afternoon or evening if you can. It may keep you awake at night.
- Develop a bedtime routine. Some people read a book, listen to soothing music, or soak in a warm bath.
- Try not to watch television or use your computer or mobile device in the bedroom. The light from these devices may make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
- Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature, not too hot or too cold, and as quiet as possible.
- Exercise at regular times each day but not close to bedtime.
- Stay away from caffeine late in the day.
- Remember, alcohol wont help you sleep. Even small amounts make it harder to stay asleep.
Talk to your doctor if you are having trouble sleeping. If these changes to your bedtime routine dont help as much as youd like, you may want to consider cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. This problem-solving approach to therapy has been shown to help improve sleep in women with menopausal symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be found through a class or in one-on-one sessions. Be sure that your therapy is guided by a trained professional with experience working with women during their menopausal transition. Your doctor may be able to recommend a therapist in your area.
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Sleep Difficulties During Menopause And Perimenopause
We work with women who are experiencing sleep difficulties during menopause or perimenopause. Our aim is to understand all of the symptoms you are experiencing and design a management plan that will enable you to achieve good sleep once again. We’ll talk you through the options available to you, which may include lifestyle adjustments, hormonal treatment or psychological therapies such as CBT for hot flushes and night sweats, and design a management plan to help you achieve better sleep.
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See this as an opportunity to rediscover each others bodies, and to build your intimacy..
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