Q&A: I am going through menopause and have terrible insomnia,does anyone know what can help?

Question by JoyceB46: I am going through menopause and have terrible insomnia,does anyone know what can help?
I fall asleep no problem but I wake up about 2 hrs later wide awake. So I sit up till about 4 am, reading or going on the computor.Ughhhhhhh then I am so tired the next day. I try to go to bed around 11:00 pm but like clock work I am wide awake around 1:30-2:00 am. I am ready to resort to sleeping pills bc this is driving me insane. I take a vitamin supplement for menopause. Does anyone know what I can do, or has anyone going through menopause found the solution to this insane problem!

Best answer:

Answer by Helga
Never gone through menopause, but can associate with the sleeping patterns. I would increase your soy intake, it helps with the problems of meonopause and then look at taking an over the counter sleep aid in a half dosage. I do take an over the counter in the half on occassion because the full dosage makes me feel like a space cadet the next day or I don’t want to wake up at all.

Also, try a little exercise before bed – I prefer a light yoga destressing routine that makes me sleepy. It pulls and stretches all your muscles and makes you feel really relaxed and it not really stressful or intense. It helps to relax me.

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6 Responses to Q&A: I am going through menopause and have terrible insomnia,does anyone know what can help?

  1. Mickie K says:

    You just have to tough it out. I haven’t slept in a couple years. I tried sleeping aids from my doc but they only work some of the time. Hormone replacement therapy has helped but not cured the problem. See your doc about Hormone replacement and/or a sleeping aid. Nothing but time cures this one I’m afraid. Welcome to the club!!

  2. ZoomZoom says:

    First you should not get up and get your self moving. Bad Bad. I take Sleep Aid it will keep you asleep in between 4-6 hours and does not leave you with a drug hangover. That groggy tired feeling. Good thin is if you wake up at 1:30 or 2 you can take it than be back to sleep in 20 minutes if you don’t get up and play on the computer or turn a light on to read. Keep it by your bed and take it the second you open your eyes. You can also try it at a 11:00 to see if it gets you past the 1:30 wake up. Give it a try, it’s not addictive and has no pain med in it. Wouldn’t it be great to wake up after a decent night sleep. Menopause ain’t it great! Try it on a Friday night and Saturday to see which way works best. So your ready for the work week.

  3. lorac says:

    I have the same problem. In fact right now I am awake because I forgot to take my Calcium-Magnesium supplement several hours ago and just realized why I am still awake.

    Here are some things that help:

    Don’t drink any caffeinated drinks within 12 hours of bedtime.

    Increase serotonin levels. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin in the body, so include more of the foods that contain Tryptophan in your diet. Vitamin C and B6 are needed for the conversion of Tryptophan to Serotonin so make sure you are getting enough of these vitamins.

    B vitamin deficiencies may result in insomnia and insomniacs are sometimes helped by supplementation of these vitamins.

    Some people have been helped with GABA, DMAE and/or Melatonin.

    Generally, don’t eat food after 9:00 pm as it stimulates the production of adrenaline and this can wake you up several hours after eating. The link below suggests however, that celery is good for lowering adrenaline.

    Deficiencies of calcium and magnesium–very common in menopausal women–can cause insomnia. Take your calcium-magnesium supplement before bedtime as it is a natural calmative. Ca and Mg should be in a ration of 2-1.

    Hot flashes tend to wake me up. Not sure if that is what is waking you up. I am taking vitamin E for that and it does help, though it is not 100% effective. But I know if I go off it then I have longer hot flashes and night sweats as well. With the vitamin E only my face warms up and it doesn’t last as long. I only had a few nights of waking up in a cold sweat to convince me to be religious about taking my vitamin E.

    Good luck.

  4. Joseph says:

    I am one of those fortunate woemn – I have no insomnia, never had. But i know of many others who do, I think you can try some of the advice I found if it does not help, at least it won’t harm:

    Insomnia is one of the more typical menopausal symptoms, unfortunately. In the past, it was generally believed that insomnia was a result of night sweats. You couldn’t sleep because night sweats were waking you up…..and keeping you awake. But recent studies now have found that you can have insomnia that isn’t related to sweats. It may be connected with the drop in the brain chemical serotonin that occurs when your estrogen levels decline. Or it could simply occur due to the changes in your hormones. Whatever the reason, there’s no question that with menopause comes insomnia. It’s usual for the frequency of insomnia to double from what you used to experience when you were premenopausal. And studies have shown that women usually begin to experience restless sleep as much as five to seven years before menopause hits.

    It winds up being a bit of a vicious circle. When you’re not getting enough …….What Can You Do RIGHT NOW To Get Some Sleep?

    There are some helpful hints for improving your sleep patterns:

    Reduce the amount of caffeine you drink. Caffeine in coffee, tea, soda and chocolate disturbs your sleep patterns by flushing the body of vitamin B – the nutrient responsible for calming you down and relieving stress.
    Eat healthy snacks that wont hinder you falling asleep in the evening. Turkey, tuna, bananas, grapefruit, yogurt, milk, figs, dates and whole grain crackers with peanut butter are all high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid that promotes sleep. Try to avoid foods like cheese, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, spinach and wine close to bedtime, as these foods contain tyramine, an amino acid which raises the release of the brain stimulant norepinephrine and promotes alertness.
    Taking herbs like chamomile, valerian or catnip in the form of tea can help you relax. Just make sure the tea you choose doesnt conflict with any medications youre taking.
    Get adequate calcium and magnesium from leafy green vegetables, broccoli, tomatoes, citrus fruits, nuts, yogurt, whole grains and soy products to keep your muscles relaxed and functioning properly.
    Perform exercise regularly. Fresh air and sunshine can energize and distress the body, making it easier to fall asleep after an eventful day.
    Do you wake up at 3:00 am and look at the clock — then can’t go back to sleep ‘til dawn? Sleeping problems like difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying asleep and restless sleep are common in women in perimenopause and menopause. Insomnia, in fact, is a common symptom of hormonal imbalance.

    Insomnia and interrupted sleep patterns are especially common during perimenopause, affecting about a third of all women. It’s true we need less sleep as we get older, but there is a difference between needing less sleep and having trouble sleeping when you’re tired. If you aren’t waking up refreshed in the morning, do something about your sleeplessness. You’re harming your health if you don’t.

    Insomnia and related sleeping problems may have many causes, but the usual suspects are:

    Night sweats, which are a clear indicator of hormonal imbalance.
    Chronic stress, which causes adrenal exhaustion and suppresses levels of DHEA, a vital regulator of sleep. This is one way we pay the price for over-scheduled lifestyles.
    Alcohol, caffeine, or carbohydrate consumption, especially in the hours before bedtime often result in sleeplessness. It’s a common mistake to eat a late dinner that’s high in carbs.
    Conflicts, worries or problems that create anxiety and that we have avoided dealing with or haven’t been able to resolve happily.
    Relief from sleeplessness without sleeping pills …..http://www.womentowomen.com/SYMinsomnia.asp
    Evaluation of Insomnia in Perimenopausal and Postmenopausal Patients
    The recognition that the etiology of insomnia is often multifactorial rather than attributing sleep problems only to the absence of estrogen is key to the evaluation and subsequent treatment of “menopausal insomnia.” Hot flashes, medical disorders, medications, mood disorders, other sleep disorders, and lifestyle factors should be considered. In addition to the patient’s own sleep habits, it is important to inquire about the bed partner’s snoring or movements during sleep that can disturb the patient’s sleep. Key questions in the history can help uncover these causes and conditions.

    When obtaining a history, all patients should be asked the following questions: Do you have difficulty falling or staying asleep, and are you excessively sleepy during the day? If the answer is “yes,” then a more careful history can be investigated regarding hot flashes, depression, anxiety, pain, medications, sleep environment, snoring (herself and partner), and symptoms of restless legs (such as uncomfortable sensations in the limbs at rest and/or leg kicks during sleep). For patients with hot flashes, in addition to the assessment of menopause, night sweats due to metabolic …..http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/484767


  5. sweetness #1 says:

    Oh, I am sooo sorry that you are having to go thru something like that….but I can really relate to what you are going thru. I, too, am going thru menopause and believe me when i say i can really relate…..I began menopause at age 38 and I am still going strong and now I am 60. This has been the worst experience of my life…..and insomnia was just one of many things we women must go thru. Try severe & drenching sweats that happen all day and all night. Mood swings and constantly feeling like you are going to lose it…..depression….bi-polar symptoms…weight gain and i could go on and on……My doc put me on a mild sleeping pill at first and when that didn’t help much then he put me on something much stronger so now I do sleep thru the night, thank God……I want to wish you the best of luck with your menopause and may God bless and keep you safe, healthy and happy

  6. cannon2007 says:

    I know of a good site that deals with sleep disorders. The guy who wrote it used to struggle with chronic insomnia:


    It does not involve sleeping pills, as they give temporary results & can have harmful side effects. Since this seems to be temporary for you I would want to get on a drug then have to go to the trouble to ween yourself off of it.

    I wish you luck!

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