Dear Red Hot Mamas,
I am 46 years old and am experiencing hot flashes and insomnia. I think I am in perimenopause. I’m having trouble coping and so is my husband. I’m constantly turning down the thermostat because of my hot flashes. And I am awakening different times of during the night. I need some help. Thank you for listening to me and I hope you can provide me some answers.
Insomnia is a classic sign that menopause is on its way. Some women during perimenopause are awakened by hot flashes during the night. They wake up sweating and must change their nightclothes. Some partners even complain they are freezing because of women opening windows or having the air-conditioning on too cold.
Some lucky women are hardly affected by hot flashes. These women merely take off the covers on their bed and they can fall back to sleep. While others, such as yourself cannot fall back to sleep. There are other women who fall back to sleep, then in a half an hour or so, they wake up again. Unfortunately, those women lose what is called REM sleep which is necessary for a satisfactory rest.
There are other things which can cause sleep disruptions other than menopausal symptoms. These include depression, restless leg syndrome, chronic pain, nighttime urinary frequency, chronic health issues, sleep apnea and even certain medication.
If you find insomnia and hot flashes are taking a real toll on your life, speak to your healthcare professional. This can help decipher the possible causes and determine which solutions are available to help with your sleep issue. There are nonprescription strategies which include eating a healthy diet, regular exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, watching your caffeine and alcohol intake and looking at the non-prescription and prescribed medications you are taking to see if these may be the culprits for your insomnia.
And, lastly, you might need to make changes to your nightly routine by going to bed at the same time each night, don’t watch TV or use your computer in your bedroom and making sure that you keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
Talk to your healthcare professional. He/she may also suggest hormone therapy options as they may help to quell your hot flashes which might help to reduce the number of times you wake up at night.