While around two-thirds of post-menopausal women have difficulty sleeping at night, about 90% report feeling worn out in general. The symptoms that come standard with menopause – anxiety, depression, hot flashes and night sweats – may make it nearly impossible to get a good night’s sleep.
When you’re feeling fatigued, you might find it more difficult to concentrate on day-to-day tasks. Activities that you once enjoyed may sound more like a chore than a good time. Please talk to us about these changes.
Tips that might help post-menopausal fatigue:
Make adjustments in your eating patterns
Try to eat your meals in smaller portions, more often throughout the day. Choose healthy foods rich in nutrients. Eating a big meal right before bedtime could interfere with sleep, especially if you suffer from heartburn.
Get in the habit of exercising daily, but make sure you finish your workout at least three hours before bedtime.
Practice relaxation techniques
Many women have found that deep breathing exercises and meditation can help calm their minds and nerves before bedtime.
Cut out caffeine
Avoid stimulants, like coffee, tea, soda, and cigarettes, especially later in the day.
Keep cool at night
Ventilate your bedroom, wear light pajamas, and turn your thermostat down to avoid the triggers of hot flashes.
When to Ask your Doctor about Post-Menopausal Fatigue
If you’re having too much trouble managing sleep on your own, your doctor may be able to prescribe medical treatments to ease your fatigue.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Many post-menopausal women find that SSRIs like Prozac, Paxil, or Effexor can cut down on hot flashes. You and your doctor can explore these options if HRT is not right for you.
Medications such as birth control pills, and blood pressure medications, have been known to reduce hot flashes.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, also known as CPAP
This is a treatment for women suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a condition in which the upper airway is intermittently obstructed by relaxed throat muscles during sleep. Post-menopausal women are 3-6 times more likely to experience OSA than pre-menopausal women.
Because OSA interferes with sleep and hinders the body’s ability to oxygenate the blood, people with OSA can wake up feeling like they’ve barely slept a wink. In CPAP therapy, the patient sleeps wearing a mask hooked up to a machine designed to keep airways open through the continuous flow of air.