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Menopause Insomnia: Symptoms and Treatment
- Menopause fatigue substantially increases with insomnia
- Biological explanation to insomnia triggered by menopause
- Helpful hints and natural treatment approaches to hot flashes menopause and menopause night sweats
- Medication: OTC and prescription
Insomnia or habitual sleeplessness is one of the symptoms of menopause. Light symptoms may begin in the perimenopause stage with both difficulties falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back to sleep. Recent studies have debunked the previous idea that insomnia was a result of menopause night sweats and hot flashes menopause, which are other menopausal symptoms. Menopausal insomnia is now believed to be due to such factors as decreased estrogen levels or changes in your hormones. Monopause insomnia disrupts your every day cycle, leaving you feeling exhausted, frustrated, irritable and sometimes with an ability to lack clear thinking and communication. Treatments vary from a natural approach all the way to prescribed medications.
Most of us would prefer a more natural approach to menopause insomnia, as long as it works. This should be your first line trial as they are easy, inexpensive and promote better health.
Common sense helpful hints and natural approaches to improve your sleep and decrease menopause fatigue:
1} Reduce the amount of caffeine you drink.
Caffeine in coffee, tea, soda and chocolate disturbs your sleep patterns by flushing the body of vitamin B – the nutrient responsible for calming you down and relieving stress.
2} Eat healthy snacks that won’t hinder you falling asleep in the evening.
Turkey, tuna, bananas, grapefruit, yogurt, milk, figs, dates and whole grain crackers with peanut butter are all high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid that promotes sleep. Try to avoid foods like cheese, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, spinach and wine close to bedtime, as these foods contain tyramine, an amino acid which raises the release of the brain stimulant norepinephrine and promotes alertness.
3} Taking herbs
Certain herbs can also help decrease hot flashes menopause: like chamomile, valerian or catnip in the form of tea can help you relax. Just make sure the tea you choose doesn’t conflict with any medications you are taking.
4} Get adequate calcium and magnesium
Sources such as leafy green vegetables, broccoli, tomatoes, citrus fruits, nuts, yogurt, whole grains and soy products to keep your muscles relaxed and functioning properly.
5} Regular exercise to decrease menopause fatique
Fresh air and sunshine can energize and distress the body, making it easier to fall asleep after an eventful day.
If you are considering taking any medication for your insomnia, you have the choice of OTC and prescribed. Both can have side affects as well as interactions with any other medication or integrative medicine you might be taking.
These are the less expensive of the two types of medication you can use to treat a menopause sleep problem. Depending upon the brand and contents, you can also find that you feel drowsy the next day after taking them. Additional side affects can include dizziness, blurred vision and dry mouth. The upside is that they do not seem to be addictive. The down side is that other health condition that you may have, such as angina, heart arrhythmias, glaucoma and urinary problems may not allow you to take an OTC product. Low doses are recommended as these products, like their prescription counterpart, can have an adverse affect on your liver.
Consultation with your medical provider should include disclosure of all medications, OTC and natural/herbal supplements you are taking. It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions completely and not change the course of treatment prescribed. Lowest dosage is recommended. There are different types of sleep medications that can be prescribed, from Benzodiazepines to non-Benzodiazepines (the most risky) and antidepressants. Antidepressants taken over long term can become addictive. Mainstream medications have shown to decrease menopause night sweats, menopause insomnia and menopause fatigue; however the side affects may outweigh the benefits.
Side affects associated with these drugs can include problems with respiratory system, drowsiness throughout the day, memory loss, nausea, dizziness, headaches, agitation and with some people – nightmares. If you suffer any out of the ordinary side effects while taking prescription sleep medications you must immediately contact your doctor.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered or used as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Menstrual Disorders9 Nov 2009|