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​ Sweet Sleep

Ever wonder about the science of sleep... post menopause? We all know that sleep never seemed to be quite so difficult before, but is it the hot flashes, the anxiety, or the restlessness that is keeping us up? And, what the hell do our hormones have to do with all this?

The issue is multifactorial; aging in and of itself causes sleeplessness, but vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes), and restless legs understandably also cause problems. Along with this, researchers discovered lifestyle factors that can contribute to sleep apnea also have to be factored in, as well as mood disorders, and lowered melatonin levels. So, there is a lot going on when it comes to getting some sweet, sweet sleep. As for hormones, researchers found that lowered levels of estrogen and progesterone, as well as overall imbalance, have a huge effect on sleep, given the wide ranging affect that they have on the body. Ultimately, "Although the cause of menopausal sleep disorder is not clear, some studies have reported that hormone therapy improves sleep quality and is considered a primary treatment if other causes are excluded."