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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Does insomnia relate to menopause?

    I am 51 and going through Menopause. Since starting menopause i have found i have very restless and sleepless nights. Is there a relationhip between the two?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1

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    Dr Sonia Davison

    Endocrinologist

    Sonia is an endocrinologist at the Jean Hailes Medical Centre and her interests include gynaecological and general endocrinology. She is also a Senior Postdoctoral Research ... View Profile

    There are many causes of poor sleep around the time of the menopause, and different strategies for different causes of poor sleep. Your health practitioner is the best one to assess and advise you, but a great article which comprehensively looks into this can be also found at: http://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-professionals/medical-observer/695

  • 1

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    Lyn Craven

    Bowen Therapist, Naturopath, Nutritionist, Western Herbal Medicine Practitioner

    I specialise in gastrointestinal health problems, (leaky gut syndrome, allergies, bloating, candida, IBS, constipation, dysbiosis, reflux), women's health, back/neck pain, RSI, carpel tunnel syndrome, rotating/tilting ... View Profile

    Some women do experience insomnia during menapause which can be debilitating if they have a full time job and family to care for.  Sleep deprivation can then create other health issues.  Hormonal levels must be assessed and addressed.  Fortunately herbal remedies and homoeopathic's are very helpful at creating a balance with the endocrine system without the many side affects one may experience with pharmaceutical drugs.  Nutrition plays a role since the endocrine system and nervous system need specific minerals in order to function properly.  You may feel your diet is adequate but if you have digestive issues, prolonged stress, emotional issues inbalanced hormones then you need to have a test for mineral levels. I have found hair mineral analysis testing to be one of the best ways to ascertain correct mineral ratios.  It allows you to see how your body is taking up and using the nutrition from your diet - in your tissues - whereas a general blood test shows what is in your blood.  Insomnia needs to be resolved, if you suffer from it you need to see a naturopath who is skilled in addressing this.

  • 1

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    Ann Zhu

    Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner, Massage Therapist

    Bachelor and Masters degrees, and 20+ years of clinical experience. I practised acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and remedial massage in medical centers in Melbourne and ... View Profile

    Insomnia can relate to menopause, according to Chinese Medicine. There are four different patterns of insomnia with the common pattern being Kidney Yin deficiency with Heart fire". Menopause in Chinese medicine is due to Liver and Kidney Yin deficiency. Therefore, insomnia and menopause are both Yin deficiency, but in different organs. There are some natural ways to deal with insomnia during menopause, for example, Yin tonify foods, gentle exercise, and Chinese herbal medicine.

  • 3

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    Dr Teresa Wong

    GP (General Practitioner)

    I love medicine! My special interest areas are mental health, pain management, pediatrics and musculoskeletal injuries. Having said that there is no area in medicine ... View Profile

    Hi there! They definitely do relate. And it's treatable. I would start by making sure that it is menopause underlying the problem by asking a few questions and doing some simple blood tests. Whatever the outcome I would definitely treat it because sleeplessness can lead to anxiety, depression, daily stress and exhaustion.
    Take it seriously, I definitely would!

  • Dr Michael Elstein

    GP (General Practitioner)

    I am an anti-ageing/wellness expert and author of ‘Eternal Health,’ and ‘You have the power.’ I have appeared on radio and television and currently have ... View Profile

    In my clinical experience there are many women who react adversely to conventional HRT and it can be a one size fits all approach.  In the above there are many good suggestions, one of the keys being individualising your treatment by identifying your hormonal, nutritional and emotional status.

  • Dr Richard Beatty

    GP (General Practitioner)

    Brisbane GP With Special interest in Complex Medical, Men's health, antenatal, paediatrics. Skin Cancer Clinic Designated Aviation Medical Examiner Specific interests in Vasectomy, Dermatology & ... View Profile

    There are three possibilities
    (1) They are not related - always possible as Dr Davison suggests though in general practice it is the menopause most of the time when they have come on at the same time.
    (2) Hot flushes are causing insomnia - they are often worse at night. A common problem.
    (3) More interestingly, recent research is pointing towards the hormonal changes of the menopause directly affecting the body clock (circardian rhythm) and causing insomnia of two types (difficultly getting off to sleep, and waking in the night).

    There's been a lot of bad press about HRT but the pendulum is swinging back and authorities are now saying loud and clear that it is safe for use in the majority of women around the menopause (example, for 3 years). So for hot flushes it's got by far the most evidence behind it though, as Dr Elstein suggests, not everyone gets on with it - but for those that do it's a game-changer. Good luck.

  • Dr Carolyn Ee

    Acupuncturist, GP (General Practitioner)

    I'm a Sydney GP with a special interest in women's health especially menopause and TTC ( trying to conceive). I specialise in acupuncture, and am ... View Profile

    Yes! Unfortunately there is something about the menopausal experience that causes a sleep disturbance, which may be unrelated to being woken up by night sweats. It is not very well understood. However always see your GP to exclude other causes of insomnia such as an overactive thyroid and depression/anxiety. Getting daily exposure to sunlight can help to normalise your day-night rhythm naturally - an afternoon walk can help. 

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