Sleep Patterns as Clues To Cause of Sleep Disruption

Was It Your Hot Flash, The Wind at Your Window, Or Being Depressed that actually disrupted your sleep? Women who say they have hot flashes have perceived poor sleep, but this cannot always be duplicated in the sleep laboratory. Although it has long been argued that it is the hot flash and night sweats that disrupts a woman's sleep a new study out of Athens, Greece headed by Dr Eleni Vousoura has shown that there are as many connections with mood disturbances as with hot flashes. Depression in her study caused the most sleep disruption, regardless of the numbers of hot flashes. Body temperature does change during a hot flash, and the body's perception of temperature fluctuations may actually awaken a women, and getting soaking wet and shivering from a hot flash may also awake a woman. But there is more to it than this. Not all women with menopausal hot flashes will complain of poor sleep. Poor sleep is common however and, we need 7 hours of sleep, approximately, so there is some data that if in spite of the awakenings you can have the required amount of sleep you may function just fine.Moderately to severe HF was independently associated in a graded manner with severity of insomnia symptoms and objected measures of night time wakefulness and sleep fragmentation. This means that if you have hot flashes that come frequently each day, they will plague you at night and break up your sleep. Of course, not all gynos agree on what goes on with sleep in the menopause. Two lab studies showed no problem with sleep in symptomatic women and then sleep disorders should not be attributed to menopause, but other disorders. Actually the sleep disturbance was followed by a HF. The newest data is that there are differing sleep patterns with menopausal sleep disruption. Difficulty falling asleep and waking up earlier than you would like is more associated with depression, and just awakening a lot at night, is more likely to be due to hot flashes. Although timing of exercise may be an issue, with some women reporting difficulty falling asleep after exercise, in general Exercise daily does improve sleep, and the  morning exercisers less difficulty with their sleep.


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