The medical definition of menopause is one year after a woman’s final menstrual period. It’s the end of a woman’s menstrual cycles. For most women, menopause comes during their 40s or 50s.
Menopause can bring on a variety of symptoms. While hot flashes may be the most well-known symptom, many women also experience trouble sleeping when they go through menopause. Sleeping issues can cause other symptoms, such as reduced energy levels. Lack of sleep can also exacerbate other symptoms, such as mood swings and weight gain.
All women who are going through menopause and having trouble sleeping should consider seeing a sleep medicine specialist for treatment. Because loss of sleep can cause and worsen other symptoms, it’s particularly important to treat any sleep disorders.
Sleep specialists have a few different ways to treat sleep problems that are caused by menopause. Often, they’re able to recommend some simple lifestyle changes that will have a significant impact. Depending on a woman’s current habits, these lifestyle changes may include following a sleep schedule, limiting naps, exercising more and limiting caffeine intake.
Doctors sometimes also recommend over-the-counter sleeping aids or prescribe sleeping medication. What medication is most appropriate for a particular woman depends on her symptoms, other health considerations, age and other factors. If medication is appropriate, doctors can recommend a specific medication after an in-person visit.
Women who want to see a doctor about menopause-induced sleep problems should look for a physician who is board-certified and specializes in treating sleep disorders. A sleep medicine specialist will be familiar with the latest advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.
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