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Sleep issues continuing thru menapause
An_249905 posted:
My last period was in May of 2003, and in June of 2003 I began to have sleep issues as in dosing, waking up every 15 to 20 minutes. I took estrogen for a couple of years with no relief. I have been prescribed effexor and continue to take that medication. I have also been on a generic (ambien) sleeping pill for several years after nothing else seemed to help with my sleeping and this included my diet, exercise routine, and sleep habits. I have recently within the last 2-3 weeks began to try a more extensive health food diet plan (although I have never been overweight) and decided to try again sleeping without a sleeping pill (within the last 3 nights). This may not be enough time to allow for results, however, am not sleeping well. Any suggestions or advice? Thank you.
Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
Dear An_249905,
There is a significant overlap between women developing sleep issues secondary to menopause, sleep issues with getting older, and some folks just developing sleep problems. There are specialists who deal with this, and will do sleep studies on you in a special sleep unit to see if you do have any problems with things like sleep apnea-indeed, a significant number of the folks who develop sleep apnea are overweight, and as you note, you are not-but some folks of normal weight can develop it. A few things which you may well be doing anyway: but in case you aren't. Continue your exercising-that's great-but try to do it early in the day-some folks find that exercising late in the day can be a problem. Do avoid caffeine, from the afternoon on-it hangs around for quite a while. Do try to just sleep in the bedroom: sleep experts discourage folks from reading in bed, watching TV in bed. Try to go to bed about the same time each night.
Those things can be of help, in case you're not doing them already. Good luck,
Mary Jane

Featuring Experts

Mary Jane Minkin, MD, is a nationally recognized obstetrician gynecologist, with a special interest in menopause. Dr. Minkin is clinical professor of ...More

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For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website