Menopause can cause sleep disorders and increased snoring or sleep apnea

Menopause is a natural part of the aging process in women. It is a period of hormonal changes and you may experience symptoms such as hot flashes during this time. Menopause is not an illness – it is a natural process that all women experience as they age. Menopause may be natural or may be a result of surgery to remove your ovaries. Natural menopause can begin anytime from your 40s to your 50s. The process begins several years before your menstrual periods stop completely and lasts for several years after your period has ended.

What are the symptoms:

  • weight gain – some women experience weight gain during this time. If you experience weight gain, this may be controlled by following a well-balanced, low-fat, high-fibre diet, and by participating in moderate physical activity (e.g., brisk walking)
  • hot flashes and night sweats – almost 75% of women experience hot flashes during the menopause process. Hot flashes may occur for five years, or more. Hot flashes that disturb your sleep are called night sweats
  • sleep changessleep disturbances such as night-time awakening and insomnia are common and may happen more often during the perimenopause stage, or if your menopause was surgical
  • emotional wellness and memory – you may experience mood swings, irritability, anxiety, mild depression and occasional trouble with memory and concentration

Your doctor can advise you about ways to manage your symptoms. They recommend healthy lifestyle choices (e.g., eat a balanced, low-fat diet, be physically active, quit smoking, reduce stress).

Managing hot flashes and night sweats:

  • drink cool water when you have a hot flash
  • avoid spicy foods and hot drink
  • limit caffeine and alcohol
  • try to reduce your stress level and participate in regular moderate physical activity

Managing sleep changes:

  • try to avoid caffeine and/or alcohol before bedtime
  • try to follow a regular bedtime routine. Go to bed and get up about the same times every day – even weekends.
  • keep your bedroom cool and dark
  • relax before going to bed

Improving emotional wellness:

  • learn relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing, or meditation
  • participate in regular physical activity
  • participate in activities that you enjoy
  • enjoy relationships that help you to feel good about yourself
  • avoid caffeine

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