Menopause and Sleep

A menopausal woman with insomnia lies on a pillow staring at the ceiling.

If there's one thing we all want more of, it is sleep. Getting a decent night's sleep makes being able to deal with the stresses of the day much more bearable. So, at a time in our lives when we're also dealing with the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, we need all the sleep we can get!  Sadly, though, many women report problems with sleep during these transitional years, and there are many reasons why this can happen.

Some of us have trouble falling asleep due to anxious thoughts or tense muscles, whilst others find that they wake up frequently during the night needing the toilet or due to night sweats.  Some of us find that we wake up with a hot flush and can't get back to sleep, or that we wake up feeling like we haven't slept at all. There are many causes for these symptoms, so it follows that there are many strategies for tackling them.

Perimenopause is the transitional phase before menopause, during which the body undergoes hormonal changes that can lead to a variety of symptoms. As a woman enters perimenopause and menopause, her body experiences a decline in the production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which can have an impact on the natural sleep cycle. Sleep disturbances are a common complaint among women in perimenopause and menopause, affecting up to 61% of women.

1. Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

Hot flashes and night sweats are the most well-known symptoms of perimenopause. They are caused by hormonal changes in the body that affect the regulation of body temperature. Hot flashes can occur during the day or night, and they can cause a sudden feeling of warmth, sweating, and a rapid heartbeat. Night sweats, on the other hand, refer to excessive sweating during sleep that can cause waking up feeling hot and sweaty, and often require changing clothes or bedding.

These symptoms can disrupt sleep, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. Women experiencing hot flashes and night sweats should try to keep their sleeping environment cool and comfortable. This may include lowering the thermostat, using a fan, or wearing breathable clothing to bed. Additionally, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga may also help to reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes.


Insomnia and Menopause

2. Insomnia

Insomnia is another common symptom of perimenopause, affecting up to 45% of women. Insomnia can refer to difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early in the morning. This can cause feelings of fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating during the day.

To manage insomnia, women can practice good sleep hygiene habits such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and avoiding stimulating activities before bedtime, such as watching TV or using electronic devices. Relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation or guided imagery, may also help promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.

3. Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. This is caused by a blockage in the airway, which can be caused by excess weight, enlarged tonsils, or other factors. Women in perimenopause are at an increased risk of developing sleep apnea, possibly due to weight gain or changes in hormone levels.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, waking up gasping or choking, and excessive daytime sleepiness. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment options. Treatment may include lifestyle changes, such as weight loss or avoiding alcohol and sedatives, as well as the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.

4. Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes an uncomfortable sensation in the legs, which is often described as a tingling or crawling feeling. This can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. Women in perimenopause are at an increased risk of developing RLS due to hormonal changes in the body.

To manage RLS, women can try engaging in light exercise or stretching before bedtime, using a heating pad or cold compress on the affected areas, or taking a warm bath before bed to promote relaxation. Certain medications, such as dopamine agonists, may also be prescribed to help manage symptoms of RLS.

5. Mood Changes

Perimenopause can also cause mood changes, such as anxiety or depression, which can affect sleep quality. Anxiety and depression can lead to feelings of restlessness, difficulty falling asleep, and disrupted sleep throughout the night.

To manage mood changes during perimenopause, women can try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, as well as talking to a therapist

Mood changes menpause symptoms


The MenoShakeincludes essential vitamins, minerals and herbs, specifically selected by a team of nutritionists to help with sleep. These ingredients aid sleep either by promoting the production of sleep chemicals to ensure our brains get enough REM sleep (which equates to quality sleep), or by regulating our circadian rhythm, which tells our body it's time for sleeping.  Researchers are currently looking at the role that vitamin D can play in improving the quality and quantity of sleep, and findings so far have been encouraging.  Vitamin D is vital for many of the functions and processes of our bodies so it's no surprise that vitamin D deficiency can also negatively affect our sleep.

Vitamins C and E for Menopause

Vitamins C and E, taken together, have been shown to help reduce sleep apnoea, which is interrupted breathing during sleep.  Sleep apnoea significantly disrupts sleep by rousing the body and brain due to a lack of oxygen.  This means we don't ever get enough REM sleep and we wake up feeling shattered.  B vitamins are known to affect brain function and mood. B12 can contribute to improved mood and cognitive function, as well as regulating our sleep-wake cycles (a deficiency of B12 has been linked to insomnia). B6 can contribute to the production of serotonin and melatonin which are both vital for initiating sleep. 

Magnesium for Menopause

Magnesium is another ingredient in the MenoShake™ which can help us to fall asleep by aiding the production of sleep chemicals such as melatonin. It also helps to relax our muscles, sending us off to the land of nod even if we are physically tense.  Both zinc and calcium are also needed for the production of these sleep chemicals, with zinc helping to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and calcium ensuring that we get the REM sleep we rely on. Finally, Marine Collagen included in the MenoShake™ can contribute to better quality sleep.

Getting enough of these nutrients is therefore vital for our sleep hygiene, but there are other things we can add to our sleep toolkits to ensure we drift off and get the best quality sleep we can.  Herbal teas containing valerian and camomile are excellent pre-bed drinks as they calm the mind and promote sleepiness.  Lavender oil on your pillow also helps to initiate sleep and can help you get back to sleep if you wake in the night – try a little in a pre-bed bath too.

Hot flashes and night sweats

Hot flashes and night sweats are very common for women in perimenopause so having spare pyjamas handy is a good idea for when you wake up soaked through.  Cool bedding, such as a silk pillowcase and sheets, or pillows and mattresses which encourage air circulation, can play a big part in enhancing the quality of our sleep by making those night sweats much more bearable.

If you struggle to get off to sleep then a guided body scan meditation or gentle music can make the world of difference.  White noise, the sounds of falling rain and other natural sounds can also make drifting off much easier and there are hundreds of YouTube videos with natural sounds or sleep-inducing music playlists to choose from.

How MenoShake can help

Combining the MenoShake™ with these additional tips and tricks should see an improvement in the quality and quantity of your sleep in no time. It is important for women going through menopause to talk to their healthcare provider about any sleep issues they are experiencing. Treatment options may include lifestyle changes, hormone replacement therapy, or medication for sleep disorders. By addressing these sleep issues, women can improve their quality of life and overall health during menopause.

 Samantha Williams CEO BomimoNutrition

Author: Samantha Williams

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