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Hot flashes are linked to insomnia - how to beat them in one go

Updated: Mar 26, 2019

When a woman has a menopausal period, she is faced with considerable hormonal changes in her body: a decrease in the level of the hormone ‘oestradiol’ and an increase in follicle stimulating hormones (FSH). This period is characterized by symptoms such as hot flashes, night-sweats, and mood changes. In addition, most women have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep during the menopause transition. There is a direct link between hot-flash frequency and poor sleep quality.

According to a recent study, late peri-menopausal women (women in the transitional period just before entering the menopause) and postmenopausal women, compared with early menopausal women and pre-menopausal women, showed increased EEG beta power during sleep (both REM and NREM sleep).

Beta power during sleep is evidence of increased arousal, which leads to a subjective impression of awakening, and due to conventional scoring methods, we are considered categorically asleep. In addition, it was found that the subjective reports of sleep quality decrease during the menopausal transition.

What are effective treatments for sleep disorders in menopausal women? Recent studies that examined the link between menopause and sleep problems have shown that the most effective treatments are hormone replacement therapy (HRT), antidepressants, hypnotic sleeping pills, valerian, and non-pharmacological interventions like yoga.

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