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Menopause and sleep

(21 Posts)
Loulou000 Wed 06-May-15 14:15:07

Hi. I just wondered if anyone had any experience in this area so we can share info and support.

I am 46 and don't think I have any other menopausal symptoms except for one massive one - my sleep has become very disrupted. Around once a week I will lie awake until 3am. The next day is ruined, I'm hideous with my children, and feel frankly quite desperate. It's like I have a complete personality transplant.

I decided after about a year of this to go to the GP, and I'd like to have some idea of what I can expect. For some reason the whole hormone replacement thing seems a no-no for me, but maybe that's an irrational prejudice. Really I would like a bloody massive sledgehammer of a sleeping pill that I can take when I need to.

TheGingerTree Wed 06-May-15 16:22:47

Yes I know exactly what you. I had always been an excellent sleeper until a year ago. Suddenly I was lying awake until 3am or 4am. The next day I would feel so drained and panicky.

At about the same time I noticed my periods weren't as regular anymore and were much lighter. But it didn't occur to me that my problems could be menopausal as I was only 42.

I did some research and discovered that your hormones do a lot to control the quality of your sleep. Also insomnia is a classic menopause symptom.

I am on my 4th week or HRT and my sleep is much improved already.

millmz Thu 07-May-15 16:05:00

I have had terrible disruption with my sleep as well as other symptoms, been to doctors and have to decide if i want to go on HRT, would love to hear from others who are on it to find out what they think.

Loulou000 Sat 09-May-15 09:01:41

Great to hear from both of you and sorry to hear about your sleep problems. It's the pits, eh. It took me a while to realise it must be connected to menopause - I was always a great sleeper before.

It's great that HRT is helping GingerTree. I'm not sure I fancy it though. I've never had any hormonal contraception or anything. But I am a bit desperate. Will see what the doctors say on Friday.

mandmsmummy Sat 09-May-15 09:17:45

Me too, it's not unusual for me to wake between 3 and 4 for an hour or so. X

pippydoo Sat 09-May-15 09:28:55

Me three.
Sleep disturbance was my first peri meno sign, with the early morning waking and not being able to function the next day. Quickly followed by absolute exhaustion, brain fog, irregular periods ( closer together) and then night time hot flushes.

I've been on HRT 4 months now...its helping. Im 48.

HormonalHeap Sun 10-May-15 01:01:32

Pippydoo is HRT really only 'helping' with bad sleep after 4 months? That leaves me feeling a bit desperate as was under the impression I'd be sleeping normally again on HRT...

pinkfrocks Sun 10-May-15 09:38:07

I think we all need to be aware that sleep is never as sound as we age anyway. It's well known that the older you are, the less good sleep is and the less we need. Both my parents have very poor sleeping habits now ( they are late 80s) and certainly for my mum this started at meno (though she never took HRT.)
I can't remember the last time I slept through the night like a baby; I always wake up but HRT has improved things. before, I would have problems getting to sleep whereas now I usually don't, but still sometimes wake early ( 5.30-6) or wake during the night. Most of the time I go back to sleep fairly easily.
I suppose what I am saying is that HRT has really helped but my sleep quality is not as good as it was in my 20s or 30s.

AuntieStella Sun 10-May-15 09:46:17

You need to sort out if the poor sleep is connected to the start of the menopausal process.

46 is still quite young (though not young enough to be classed as premature) and in the absence of any other menopausal symptoms, it's not a given that this would be related, though of course it could be.

Also once a week don't sound cycle-based, and symptoms related to hormone change often are.

But if it is related to menopausal changes, then at 46 you may well benefit from HRT. Have you read up on the risk/benefits to younger women?

queenruth Sun 10-May-15 09:50:23

I'm 48 and have been on hrt for two years. It's made an enormous difference to my sleep. The tablets I take are oestrogen for the first part of the month and then progesterone for the last part of the month. I have noticed that it's the oestrogen tablets that make me sleep. I lie awake more in the second half of the month when I'm taking the progesterone tablets.

Am considering asking the doc if I can have tablets which are oestrogen only!

queenruth Sun 10-May-15 09:56:14

Oh, and I just wanted to say that doctors now actually recommend hrt if you have troubesome menopausal symptoms below the age of 50. Your doc will order a blood test to check that that is in fact the problem, and then you could try it for a month or two?

It protects against osteoporosis, heart disease etc. People are frightened of it because there was some bad press about 15 years ago, but that has since been proved wrong. It's a positive thing if you're under 50.

pinkfrocks Sun 10-May-15 10:11:22

queen- you can' have oestrogen-only if you have a uterus.
You might be able to persuade your dr to let you try a long cycle with HRT ( anything from 8--12 weeks) but you'd need a separate oestrogen and then a separate progesterone and might have to pay for a private scan once a year or so to check womb lining is ok.

pinkfrocks Sun 10-May-15 10:11:45

can't ( not can')

pippydoo Sun 10-May-15 10:11:57

Sorry , I was trying to be concise with my "Its helping" comment. Sorry that you are feeling desperate. Please do go and speak to your GP about this.

It is helping alot with my poor sleeping . I now wake refreshed and can cope with the day ahead. I am less exhausted and less anxious. If I wake in the night ( noise or up for toilet) I get back to sleep quickly. HRT has really helped with my nightime hot flushes . Like queenRuth I too sleep best on the oestrogen only part and not as fantastically when the progesterone bit is added in for 12 days per month.

Silvercatowner Sun 10-May-15 15:06:50

I'm back on HRT after 3 months of hot flush hell waking every 30 minutes. It is AMAZING - I am sleeping so well. I love it.

queenruth Sun 10-May-15 15:26:31

Thank you pinkfrocks. I hadn't realised. Oh well - at least it's only 12 days a month on the progesterone!

MyCatIsAGit Sun 10-May-15 21:23:41

queenruth I was having trouble with progesterone and switched to pill that gad a different dose.

Sleeping so much better on HRT. Bu I was having anxiety attacks too.

Loulou000 Wed 13-May-15 13:27:46

I suppose it's quite possible it's completely unrelated. It doesn't seem to be cycle-based, anyway, so you're right there AuntieStella.

I would actually love to need less sleep as I get older. The trouble is that if I get less than 8 hours I'm in a really bad way, always been like that and still am.

I think I need to do some more research about HRT. I guess I have a prejudice and should look into what is recommended and what studies are showing.

Since I first posted I have found that I am bleeding (spotting) daily, and it should be another ten days until my period. I also have sore boobs and a bit of cramping. It's just like a period. The mystery deepens.

drycoughssuck Wed 13-May-15 13:46:32

Most of us are parents & I can't imagine many people reading this got thru the early years without many months or even yrs of irregular sleep.

So I blame the children for my ruining my sleep patterns. Don't think peri-menopause can make things any worse.

pinkfrocks Wed 13-May-15 14:04:30

Lou- all those symptoms are part of peri meno. usually spotting is down to low progesterone as a low level at the end of each month triggers a period If there is not enough in your system in the 2nd half of a cycle then you are likely to get spotting. some women find the mini pill sorts this out or even the OCP. What is happening is the ovulation may not be regular now so the 2nd half of a cycle when progesterone ought to be produced is not happening either (or enough.)

Re. HRT might it help to think about what worries you about it then look / research around that so you know the actual figures? Both the International menopause Society and the British Menopause Society have info on their websites and although they are aimed more at professionals, the info is useful.

I also posted a link here some time back about a video produced by the IMS.

theadamsgang12 Mon 18-May-15 22:29:26

I had a review by my GP following my mirena coil in for 7 years and 5months. I normally have spotting although my normal is one month breast are sensitive next month feel bloated then following month spotting. About 10 weeks ago I had a light period for a week. I just put this down to the hormone on the coil running out and didnt worry. GP arranged phone review and said I needed to come in to have coil taken out. She said my bloods FSH levels were raised to suggest that I was post menopausal and that the bleeding maybe postmenopausal and I need to go to PMB clinic to have scans. Anyone else had this as starting to worry me now.

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