Trouble sleeping is common in women at menopause, or so conventional thinking goes. Yet the latest word is that it’s during perimenopause when the trouble starts to brew.
Genetic factors may partly explain why insomnia is more common in women than in men. But hormonal changes during perimenopause and later in life are often cited as a more proximal cause of sleep problems that occur in midlife and older women.
Waking up to hot flashes now that you’re going through “the change?” You’re not alone. Up to 80 percent of women experience them during menopause.
Annoying in the daytime, hot flashes can play havoc with your sleep, making you prone to frequent wake-ups in sweat-soaked sheets. Up to 61 percent of postmenopausal women report hot flash-related wake-ups and other symptoms of insomnia.
Low-dose paroxetine, a drug prescribed at higher doses for depression, holds promise for women looking to cut down on hot flashes and night sweats and improve their sleep.
Feeling cold at night is the pits. Not only is it unpleasant, but it also gives me a whopping case of insomnia. So years ago I bought an electric blanket and a comforter for use in the winter.
But these items may not be good choices for people with insomnia or those who wake up with night sweats, according to recent paper by sleep scientists in The Netherlands. It has to do with the effects of skin temperature on core body temperature at night.
Pet peeve: I turn down the bed covers in my hotel room only to discover that the bedding consists of sheets and a comforter, without a blanket in sight.
Maybe the hotel management assumes that adjustments in room temperature will allow this arrangement to work. But no matter whether I turn the heat up or down, my next several hours will be a challenge: Sheets + comforter = a comfortless night. I’m either roasting with the comforter on or freezing without it.