As many women know, there are a number of irritating symptoms associated with menopause. However, one symptom that is commonly overlooked by both women and their healthcare professionals (HCPs) is insomnia.
Women have trouble falling asleep, wake up in the middle of the night and find themselves exhausted the next day. Based on personal experience, I know that the effects of being sleep-deprived during menopause can take a toll on multiple aspects of women’s lives, including marriages, friendships and even productivity at work.
In fact, a recently released survey* of more than 900 women who experienced sleep problems during menopause revealed the negative impact of insomnia. Women noted that they experienced daytime drowsiness or fatigue, irritability and difficulty concentrating on certain tasks. Additionally, the women surveyed indicated that their personal and romantic relationships suffered as a result of their insomnia during menopause. And interestingly, nearly 34 percent said that intimacy with their husband or partner was affected.
Perhaps the most notable finding from the survey was that menopausal women aren’t communicating their insomnia symptoms to their HCP despite the tremendous impact on their daily lives. Furthermore, the topic is often not proactively addressed by the HCP. In fact, 62 percent of the women surveyed said they have not talked to their HCP about their symptoms and of the women who did (38 percent), 92 percent said that they had to initiate the conversations with their HCP themselves.
Since there is a gap in communication between women and their HCPs regarding insomnia during menopause, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for women to take a proactive approach to finding a treatment or solution that works best for them. The first step is to initiate an open and honest conversation with their HCP and from there, work together to develop a plan to address the issue.
Most importantly, women experiencing sleep problems during menopause need to know that they are not alone and that there are resources and tools available to help.