News & Blog

Menopause Awareness Month

Oct 3, 2023

As part of this Menopause Awareness Month, we thought it was worth talking about how menopause affects sleep. Many people will experience bouts of insomnia from time to time, but menopause-related insomnia can stretch on for weeks and months if not properly treated.

Insomnia is generally an inability to fall asleep or persistent wakening’s for a period of over three months. Menopause can be a key trigger of insomnia because of some of the physiological and psychological changes women experience when going through the menopause.

Given perimenopause (pre-menopause) typically starts in a woman’s 40s (but can start in her 30s or even earlier) and menopause itself isn’t until around the age of 50, the entire process can last anywhere between 2-10 years. Consequently, the effects of menopause on sleep can be chronic and life debilitating given the longevity of the menopause process.

In peri- and post-menopause, many women have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep. This can be accompanied by hot flushes (due to fluctuations in oestrogen and progesterone levels) which can cause more awakenings, restless legs syndrome (a nervous condition with an overwhelming irresistible urge to move the legs) and sleep disordered breathing such as obstructive sleep apnoea.

Not getting enough good sleep can affect all areas of life and sleep issues are often accompanied with low mood and anxiety.

Sleep and the Menopause with Dr Theodora Kalentzi

Sleep disturbance is a very common symptom of the perimenopause and menopause, and according to data, up to 57% of women suffer from it. Dr Kalentzi, who specialises in menopausal problems and is a member of the Sleep Council Advisory Board, confirms that in her experience up to 90% of women in the perimenopause and menopause have some degree of sleep disturbance. Read more here

If you’re interested in more advice we have a practical advice sheet that can be here.