Hot Flashes Linked to Insomnia
Severe Hot Flashes, Chronic Insomnia Often Go Together, Study Shows
WebMD News Archive
June 26, 2006 -- Women who have severe menopausal hot
flashesoften have chronic insomniaas
well, a new study shows.
The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, comes
from Maurice Ohayon, MD, DSc, PhD, of Stanford University's medical school.
"Severe hot flashes are strongly associated with chronic insomnia in
midlife women," writes Ohayon, who recommends asking women with chronic
insomnia about hot flashes and possibly treating hot flashes to improve sleep
About Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are a common symptom of menopause. Up to 85% of menopausal women
experience them, according to background information cited in the study.
Data for Ohayon's findings came from 982 California women age 35-65 years.
Ohayon split the women into three groups:
- Before menopause (premenopausal): 562 women
- Around the time of menopause (perimenopausal): 219 women
- After menopause (postmenopause): 201 women
Menopause doesn't happen overnight. Here's what those terms mean in this
- Premenopause: Women at least 35 years old who reported regular menstrual
periods in the last year.
Perimenopause: Women who reported irregular
menstrual periods during the last year and had at least one period in the
- Postmenopause: Women who reported no menstrual bleeding during the last 12
During telephone interviews, the women were asked if they had hot flashes.
They also rated their hot flashes' severity by these standards:
- Mild: Hot flashes usually don't cause sweating.
- Moderate: Hot flashes usually include sweating that doesn't limit
- Severe: Hot flashes usually cause sweating that prompts a woman to stop her
The women also reported any sleep problems. Chronic insomnia was defined as
at least six months of poor quality sleep, including trouble falling asleep or