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Healthy Sleep

5 min read

sleep and the menopause - how can it affect sleep?

written by Liz Tabron

updated 25.08.2023

woman experiencing menopause symptoms

Night sweats, sleep struggles, mood swings – well hello menopause. One minute you’re enjoying your peaceful night’s sleep and then the next they’ve turned into a wild insomnia party. Tossing and turning, trying to combat those night sweats and feeling agitated, the menopause has well and truly hit. But what is it about menopause that affects your sleep and what can you do about it? Let’s discover the link between menopause and sleep problems and find out how you can help reclaim your beauty sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

does menopause cause sleeping problems?

Yes, menopause can cause sleeping problems. Hormonal changes during menopause can have an impact on your sleep patterns. Let’s take a look at some of the hormonal changes that occur and why it is they impact the quality of your sleep:

  • Hormonal fluctuations – during menopause there’s a decrease in the production of oestrogen and progesterone, which can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-regulating mechanisms.

  • Hot flushes – night sweats are one of the biggest symptoms of menopause and the discomfort of these lead to you suffering from sleep disturbance.

  • Mood changes – mood swings, anxiety and depression are all symptoms of menopause and each of these can affect the quality of your sleep.

  • Physical symptoms - symptoms such as joint pain, urinary urgency, and changes in body composition can impact comfort and sleep.

  • Sleep architecture changes - menopause can alter your sleep architecture, leading to changes in the proportions of different sleep stages, including reduced deep sleep and increased awakenings.

  • Stress and lifestyle factors - The menopausal transition can also be a time of increased stress due to these life changes you’re going through. Stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, and other lifestyle factors can all contribute to sleep difficulties.

how long does menopause insomnia last?

Insomnia and sleep disturbances are common symptoms of menopause due to hormonal changes that affect sleep patterns. However, there isn't a set timeframe for how long insomnia from menopause will last as it will vary widely from person to person. For some women, insomnia might only last a few months during the transition into menopause, while for others, it could persist for several years.

what helps you sleep during menopause?

There are a few things you can do to try and improve your sleep during menopause but it’s important to remember everyone is different, and different strategies will work for different people. It’s good to try different approaches so you can see which works for you. A few of our tips include:

  • Create a consistent sleep routine – go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to drive your body clock. Our bodies like routine and we’re all driven by our internal body clock so doing this is key to trying to combat menopausal insomnia.

  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine – limit your screen time and instead engage in calming activities before bed.

  • Ensure a comfortable sleeping environment – a comfortable mattress and pillows are essential, along with a cool room and minimal noise and light. Try wearing light pyjamas and using our cool touch pillows to help regulate your temperature.

  • Stay active throughout the day – regular physical activity throughout the day can help improve sleep quality.

  • Don’t drink too much before bedtime – this will reduce the chance of you waking up to use the toilet.

recommended mattresses to help with menopause and sleeping

Menopause and lack of sleep can have a knock-on effect on your daily activities which is why it’s so important to try to do everything you can (even if it feels impossible at times) to try to combat the sleeping struggles. Those night sweats you may be facing are one of the main reasons you’ll struggle to sleep at night. Thermal environment, specifically the proximal temperature around the body and brain is perhaps the most underappreciated factor determining ease of falling asleep, so doing what you can to regulate your temperature is key. Having the right mattress is essential – opt for cooling and breathable materials to help combat your night sweats for a comfortable sleep. We’ve detailed our recommended mattress types below.

  • Lift Breathe - these mattresses combine the same pressure relief of memory foam with 10x more breathability for the best of both worlds. The breathable sleep system reduces overheating with enhanced breathability and moisture wicking. This also has intense™ fabric technology woven into the sleep surface that has proven to reduce cortisol levels and morning stress brought on by menopause.

  • Fibre mattresses - Mattresses with fibre fillings are extremely breathable making them great for people who overheat easily.

  • Natural / Wool - Wool fibres have a unique, three-dimensional crimp that gives them resilience. These fibres act like millions of mini springs, helping us move easily and peacefully through the night. The natural crimp effectively traps pockets of air allowing the fibres to breathe naturally. This creates insulation against the heat as well as the cold.

  • Eco Comfort Breathe - Eco Comfort Breathe is our more luxurious eco product. Featuring 100% polyester fibres, the patented Mircoclimate™ system was scientifically developed to achieve the ultimate in sleep performance whilst delivering best in class environmental performance. These mattresses transfer heat away 56% faster than memory foam, cool 42% faster than memory foam and are 85% more breathable than memory foam.

recommended bedding to help with menopause and sleep

As well as mattresses, there are certain bedding types across our pillows and duvet ranges you can choose to help regulate your temperature.

  • Wellbeing Cool Touch Pillow – Absorbing excess body heat, these pillows have a cooling gel pad for a cool night’s sleep.

  • So Cool Pillow – Lightweight for cool comfort.

  • Airmax Pillow – ideal for hot sleepers as the airmax technology provides breathability.

  • Summer breeze duvet – these duvets are soft and light with breathable fibres, making them perfect for over-heaters.

  • Airmax duvet – specially constructed with air mesh sides which increase airflow and breathability to help you sleep at a comfortable temperature.

It's important to note that not all women will experience significant problems when it comes to sleep in menopause, and the severity and duration of these problems can vary widely. If you're experiencing sleep disturbances during menopause, you should see your GP. They will help identify the specific factors contributing to your sleep problems and provide guidance on managing them, which may include lifestyle changes, relaxation techniques, and, in some cases, medical treatment.

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