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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    I lack a good night sleep due to menopause. Any help?

    I am currently on HRT and find it terrific for managing menopause symptoms, but I sleep so poorly. I only get 5-6 hours p/night. Has anyone found anything that helps get the sleep pattern back to 8 hrs p/nihgt?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2

    Thanks

    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

  • 2

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    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

     There is scientific evidence that the herb valerian at a dose of  400-900 mg of the herbal extract taken up to 2 hours before bedtime improves sleep.  Although the clinical trials aren't always supportive there is some anecdotal support for trying the hormone melalonin. 
      I have found that measuring melatonin and cortisol levels via salivary assay  is most useful.  Cortisol is the herb that wakes us up in the morning but producing too much of it at night can disturb sleep patterns and interfere with the production of hormones like melatonin that regulates circadian rhythms, as well as growth hormone and other recuperative and regenerative processes that occur during sleep.  The saliva test when done at night can assess production of cortisol and melatonin.  There are natural ways to modulate excess cortisol stimulation and aside from taking melatonin, if nighttime levels are low, there are also natural means of boosting its production like supplementing with the amino acid tryptophan for example.
     Interestingly there is also some evidence that low-dose estrogen combined with low-dose micronized progesterone may benefit women who complain of disturbed sleep.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=treating%20insomnia%20with%20progesterone

  • 1

    Thanks

    Dr Maree Barnes

    Respiratory & Sleep Medicine Physician

    Dr Barnes has competed specialty training in sleep medicine and is currently working at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne. Dr Barnes’ current research focuses are: … View Profile

    Sleeping during the menopause can be problematic. This is often related to hot flushes and hormonal surges. However if the HRT is controlling your symptoms, it may be that there are other causes of your poor sleep. It is important to ensure that your sleep hygiene is optimal - I suggest visiting the website of the sleep health foundation, www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au and looking at some of the information sheets on Sleep and Menopause, as well as general sleep health tips.

  • 3

    Thanks

    AnnaSM

    HealthShare Member

    I too was pushed into severe menopause symptoms 2 years after having a hysterectomy.  The sudden crashing of my hormones after the operation pushed my body into chaos. I too have tried HRT, even TCM and most other menopause products and remedies available in the marketplace, but the truth is nothing really worked for me. In my case, my doctor didn’t really inform me about the side effects of HRT.

    All the treatments from traditional methods worked for a month or less (if I was lucky 6 weeks maximum), but each time my old symptoms returned - the hot sweats, sleep interrupted nights, mood swings, dizziness and nausea, listlessness and a whole range of other life crushing symptoms, including food allergies. When I confronted the doctors they were in denial - in my case, nothing I tried gave me sustained relief from these all-pervading symptoms, until I discovered Reconnective Healing which was provided by Time2Heal in Sydney. 

    I suggest you look them up on the internet, it help me and I am hoping it can help other women suffering from severe menopause symptoms.

    Hope this is useful to you.

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