Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Menopause Health Center

Font Size

Menopause and Sleep

Hot and bothered when it's time to sleep? Here are some solutions.
WebMD Magazine - Feature

Betty came to visit me last winter. She was a funny patient with a serious problem.

"When I wake up at night with one of my 'power surges,' I feel like I could heat a small country. And I am having a hard time sleeping because my husband's teeth are chattering so loudly from my keeping the window open. Doc, it's December, but my body thinks it's July."

Recommended Related to Menopause

Guys' Guide to Menopause

Menopause isn't just a rough time for women -- it's also hard for the men who love them. If your spouse or partner is in the throes of "the change," unpleasant symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings will probably affect you and your relationship. In a recent survey, 38% of men said their wife's night sweats and insomnia related to menopause affected intimacy, and they cited their partner's lack of sleep or poor sleep as the main reason. You may not be able to prevent hot flashes, but you can...

Read the Guys' Guide to Menopause article > >

Welcome to the signs of approaching menopause. In addition to hot flashesand mood swings, many of my patients report difficulty sleeping. Although some 40% of premenopausal women report sleep problems, this percentage can double from the onset of perimenopause (the transition into menopause, beginning as early as the late 30s for some women) through postmenopause. That's a lot of women missing out on a good night's sleep.

During this transitional time, the ovaries gradually decrease production of estrogen and progesterone (a sleep-promoting hormone). Hot flashes, typically accompanied by a surge of adrenaline, can result. And when they happen in the middle of the night, a woman may find it very hard to settle back into slumberland.

How can women like Betty improve the quality of their shut-eye? Consider some of these simple solutions to minimize the impact of sleep-marauding hormones.

Stay cool. Keep a damp cloth or a bucket of water nearby to cool yourself quickly if you wake up feeling hot and sweaty.

Lighten up. Avoid heavy bedding. Choose breathable nightclothes: light cottons, sheer materials.

Consult your doctor. If you have difficulty sleeping after age 35 because of hot flashes, night sweats, or other symptoms of perimenopause, ask about the possibility of taking a low-dose birth control pill to stabilize estrogen fluctuations. Your doctor may also consider short-term use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help relieve menopause-related symptoms. Note that HRT is not for everyone; ask your doctor if it's right for you. To see if your sleep improves, your doctor may also suggest a prescription sleeping pill for a short period of time.

Prevent pain. If aches and pains prevent you from sleeping, try taking a mild, over-the-counter pain reliever or analgesic before going to bed. Just be sure it doesn't contain any stimulants.

Ban Fido and Kitty. Your pet's movements -- or your allergiesto animals -- could be disturbing your sleep. Animals can also give off a tremendous amount of heat.

If you have trouble sleeping for more than a few weeks, or if sleep problems interfere with your daily life, speak with your doctor or contact a board-certified sleep specialist.

Reviewed on May 14, 2008

Today on WebMD

woman walking outdoors
How to handle headaches, night sweats, and more.
mature woman holding fan in face
Symptoms and treatments.
woman hiding face behind hands
11 ways to keep skin bright and healthy.
Is it menopause or something else?
senior couple
mature woman shopping for produce
Alcohol Disrupting Your Sleep
mature couple on boat
mature woman tugging on her loose skin
senior woman wearing green hat
estrogen gene

WebMD Special Sections