Hormone fluctuations. Hot flashes and night sweats. Depression and changes in mood. Coincidental and age-related changes in health and social issues. All of these factors associated with menopause can affect a patient’s sleep quality. In fact, according to one estimate, the prevalence of insomnia rises by approximately 40% during the period of transition to menopause and after menopause. Since sleep is so crucial to well-being, what can be done to help patients suffering from menopause-related sleep disturbances?
We invited Dr Howard Kravitz to shed some light on sleep disturbances associated with menopause. Dr Kravitz is the Stanley G Harris Family Professor of Psychiatry and professor of preventive medicine at Rush University Medical Center. He has published extensively on sleep and sleep issues, particularly in mid-life and menopausal women.
• Don’t wait for the patient to ask you about sleep issues. Since menopause-related sleep issues are so prevalent, talk to your patient about potential symptoms and sleep quality issues.
• Know your resources. Refer patients to sleep disorder centers or psychiatrists/psychologists as necessary.
• Women may be interested in herbal/alternative medicines, but research indicates that, at best, they are not helpful and at worst, they are dangerous. Talk to your patients, find out what they have read and why they are interested in such, and negotiate a safe treatment plan.
Resources for Patients:
|To Sleep, Perchance To Dream: Recognizing and Addressing Menopause-Related Sleep Disruption|
To Sleep, Perchance To Dream: Recognizing and Addressing Menopause-Related Sleep Disruption
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