Night heats (and other hormonal symptoms) dont help trying to sleep

If i do get to sleep, the first time i wake, i feel my body heat up all through, especially in my back or front whatever is bed-side down, so i am constantly moving about. Goodness knows how hubby sleeps with my fidgeting…I sleep best when he holds me – i think my body instantly accepts the safety & comfort of it, but when i wake we are apart. So i do get a little sleep if we start like spoons.. but these ruddy night sweats do my head in….

If i get 4 solid hours of sleep i am amazed its normally broken sleep 1st wake around 2ish, then drifting in and out, waking around 4ish & then 5ish as hubby alarm at 5.30 then drift again till i get up around 7.15. That's when i want TO ACTUALLY SLEEP...& can't!

Posted 17 Nov 2011 at 8:28 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    I'm interested to hear from anyone who has struggled with their sleep since the onset of the menopause.
    I used to sleep like a baby. I took a good night's sleep totally for granted until just over 6 years ago.

  • Sleepio Member

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    I have struggled with my sleep for the last 9 years since the onset of menopause. I was keen not to take HRT so have battled on as I don't really have any other symptoms only hot flushes and poor sleep.
    I usually wake at least 2-3 times during the night, sometimes I can get back to sleep when the flush has stopped and sometimes I can be awake for ages.
    Other times I can't even get to sleep even though I feel exhausted!
    I try to be very laid back about it and not get stressed about it but it can be difficult when I've only had a few hours sleep on several consecutive days!

  • Sleepio Member

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    I blame the menopause!!! Before the menopause I slept well but during the menopause I had hot flushes about every hour, day and night and this went on for about 15 years. You know how it is – you suddenly wake and are unbearably hot and sweating profusely so you throw back the bed clothes and within minutes you are cold again. I am fortunate in that I would then go back to sleep very quickly. After so many years I think this is now a negative sleep habit. On the whole the night sweats have ceased but I still wake regularly and frequently. I was hoping the sleep restriction might break this bad habit but so far it doesn't seem to be doing so. Perhaps one has to do the SR for longer (oh no!!!)

  • Sleepio Member

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    I gave up working about 5 years ago when my poor sleeping was impacting on my ability to cope with stressful situations. I swapped this 'habit' for the menopause. I began waking every 2 hours at one point. I now sleep for aprox 3 hours at a time but rarely feel refreshed when I waken for the day. Although I don't have to get up for work, it doesn't seem to make any difference. Blackout curtains, no caffeine or eating late. I've changed my pillow and we have a new bed.
    I've had acupuncture and 'Lady magnet' suggestions.
    Any experiences /ideas? Or is this a bit of Mumbo Jumbo?

  • Sleepio Member

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    A lot of what we are advised to do (through the media or on line) is mumbo jumbo and has no scientific basis, however anything to do with the human being is affected by our psychology and so a completely ineffectual intervention may appear to have an effect because it triggered the right psychological response. You seem to have done all the sensible things, so my advice would be to focus entirely on the Sleepio programme and despite how awful it will get, persevere. You hint at stress problems so the various relaxation techniques should help you and with luck the sleep restriction will break the negative sleep habits.
    After 8 weeks I see small signs of improvement for me, so I advise that you hang on in and hopefully it will work for you too

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Ozzie, I can understand your scepticism about the effectiveness of certain natural remedies, but I've been using the magnet since September, and it's really reduced my hot flushes, both frequency and intensity. (I've used magnets before for period pains, and tennis elbow, all with good results).
    Another thing I've found effective (no idea why) is green tea. I allow myself 2 builders teas in the morning to wake me up, but the rest of the day I'm green, and this has also helped this year with flushes. (Interestingly, on the odd occasions when I've felt like treating myself to a nice coffee when I'm out, the flushes start again a little later).
    Throughout this menopausal journey I've tried just about everything. Most things haven't worked for me at all. I daren't add up what I've spent in the local health shop, but when you're faced with zero support from your GP, what do you do? I think you've just got to try every single thing you can (within reason!) and see what works for you.
    We're all individuals, and some people find some remedies more effective than others. You've just got to find your thing.
    EO

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thank you Eternal Optimist for your help. You're not the first to mention the magnet. I wonder if it works in conjunction with the green tea. Not sure about giving up coffee but I don't have caffeine after about 4pm anyway. I certainly will pursue the interest in the magnet its just i've not come across anyone who knows anything about them. I guess we just live and learn.
    Thanks again
    Ozzie

  • Sleepio Member

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    Yes!!! You are not alone. I've been a great sleeper all my life – 7.5-8 hours and slept straight through.

    I'm in my late 40's and having perimenopausal symptoms now, one of which is sleep disturbance. I fall asleep and get 4-5 hours and then am up and down which makes me feel like my overall sleep quality is in the toilet.

    If you are willing, the birth control pill absolutely takes care of this, but I'm no longer a candidate for hormones.

    Hoping Sleepio can do the trick, although I'm a bit skeptical. Since the issue is hormonal, how can good sleep habits restore me to getting a restful night's sleep?

    Anyone in perimenopause had a good experience with Sleepio helping what are solely perimenopause-related sleep issues?

    Thanks.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hello elephantblue

    I don't know if any of this is relevant to you, but this is my experience. I'm 3 1/2 years post menopausal and have been having hot flushes for the last 5 or 6 years. About a 6 months ago I got my hormone levels tested and discovered that my estrogen, progesterone and testosterone were all very low. I took pregnenelone for a couple of months and had my hormone levels retested. All 3 hormones were in the normal range however the ratio of estrogen to progesterone was too high and I was told that the estrogen dominance continued to give me hot flushes. I used topical progesterone for a couple of months and got all the hormone ratios and levels right. My hot flushes continued, so, as the hormones weren't helping cure the flushes I stopped all hormones completely. The hot flushes continued as before, and they carried on unabated.

    From the outset the flushes have disturbed my sleep. However I didn't fall into insomnia until about 4 months ago. I would wake countless times to throw off the bed covers. I had hot sweats and cold sweats. The sweats are preceded by a fluttering in my chest which is not heart-related, it then progresses to a tingling in my arms and hands. If I'm unlucky it all ends up in a panic attack, or I wake in a sweat and immediately have a panic attack.

    I'm now on Sleepio week 3 (3 days into SR and QHR). Since starting Sleepio I havnt had a panic attack at all. Also since starting Sleepio I can get to sleep within 15 minutes. I still do not have a long sleep, but since SR have slept 6h, 4h and 5h, each in one block. Occasionally I wake but go back to sleep immediately, and occasionally I wake to throw off the bedclothes, and then go back to sleep without a panic attack. However I'm not waking frequently with hot flushes, and they're no longer coming one wave after another in quick succession.

    In the day my hot flushes are usually just sweats with no associated panics. My daytime sweats are completely unchanged since beginning Sleepio.

    I can't interpret what's happening, but there seems to be an interplay between hormones and stress which affects my night (but not day) sweats. Perhaps I've just had fewer night sweats since beginning Sleepio, perhaps Sleepio had lowered my stress levels, or perhaps I'm sleeping more deeply so that I'm sleeping through the sweats, it may just be that, as recommended by the Prof, I turned the heat down in my bedroom (by just 1 degree)....I can't tell. However I do know that in the 2 1/2 weeks since starting Sleepio night sweats have had far less impact on my sleep.

    I don't know if there are any clues there in my experiences to help you with your problems. Night sweats are awful, and they seem to go on for ever, but Sleepio is helping, so I would encourage you to give it a trial….what is there to lose?.....bad as the sweats are the insomnia is worse. I'm convinced but what I've read, and by my experience so far that Sleepio is the best hope for us insomniacs however it was caused. I do hope you find some relief too and that you get back to refreshing and consistent sleep.

    I'd be very interested to hear if things do change for you because then between us we might be able to be more helpful to others who are posting on this thread.

    Good wishes, Doodle.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Eternal Optimist,

    Yes, I'm in the exact same boat! Used to sleep my full 8 hours without waking up once. Now I'm in my late 40's and can't sleep through the night. I get 4-5 hours and then I'm in and out of sleep.

    I saw a sleep specialist who told me CBTI is the way to go. She said herbs or pills won't really help long term.

    I'm in week 3 right now which is tough, but I'm following instructions. I want it to work!

    If you can go on birth control pills, they resolve the issue, but if you can't, stick with Sleepio and let's tell each other success stories in a few weeks, shall we? :)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hey Doodle!

    Thanks so much for sharing! Your results are encouraging!

    I get a “heated feeling”, no sweats. But I get insomnia with or without the heat. But the insomnia is definitely caused by the perimenopause.

    I'm taking your advice and sticking with this program! There are so many people here saying to do so who have seen improvement. Why should we be any different, right?

    Take care!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hey Doodle!

    Thanks so much for sharing! Your results are encouraging!

    I get a “heated feeling”, no sweats. But I get insomnia with or without the heat. But the insomnia is definitely caused by the perimenopause.

    I'm taking your advice and sticking with this program! There are so many people here saying to do so who have seen improvement. Why should we be any different, right?

    Take care!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hello elephantblue,

    I think sticking with it is the right, and the courageous thing to do. ....reasons: 1. It can do no harm 2. It has helped others, 3. The sleep restriction sucks, but it's based on previous average sleep, so although it restricts the window it doesn't (necessarily) restrict sleep itself. 4. If you carry on doing what you've always done you'll only get what you've always got – it's time for something new.

    These multi factorial conditions (like insomnia) are tricky customers. I had ME for many years. It started with a virus, however it didn't go when the virus went. What I'm saying is that for some conditions fixing the cause doesn't necessarily fix the effect of that cause. So, in my theory, fixing our hormones won't necessarily fix the insomnia the hormones caused. It's as if the insomnia, once triggered, takes on a life of its own. Lots of things are like that. My husband had a vasectomy because we didn't want to extend our family any further. However, although the vasectomy prevented any further children, it didn't affect the two we already had – they were autonomous beings by then (well, sort of, autonomous in everything except finances!). So I think that although the hormones have spawned the insomnia demon, fixing the hormones won't exorcise the demon…that takes the magic of the Sleepio fairy!

    I have one good memory of perimenopause….it was really weird….my hair went curly….really, really curly. It was wonderful, and it stayed like that for 2 years. Now it's back to straight with a slight kink.

    Good wishes, Doodle.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Ah yes… the menopause and sleep disruption. I have discovered that caffeine raises cortisol levels in our bodies, which brings on the hot flushes. I stopped drinking caffeine on Jan 4 2017 and my sleep has improved enormously. My hot flushes have reduced from about 25 in a 24 hour period to about 3. It makes sleeping so much more restful. I was really surprised that it helped so much. I also did some research on blue light and sleep patterns. So, not expecting any improvement, I started turning off everything that emits blue light (ipad/tv/mobile/pc) an hour and a half before I went to bed. On the very first night, I fell asleep within 10 minutes! I really was surprised and now turn everything off, every night an hour and a half before turning in. I then read or listen to the radio until bed time. I still get the odd night where I have to get up with the 15 minute rule, but the improvement in my sleep is remarkable. It might be worth a try. :-)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hello MrsH,

    Thank you for sharing your tried and tested remedies for hot flushes. That's so helpful. I've had bad experiences too with green tea supplements….hot flushes and racing heart, which I guess are both signs of raised cortisol. Like caffeine, Green Tea extract is a sneaky customer which hides in OTC medicines and supplements.

    Thank you for the info,

    Good wishes, Doodle.

  • Sleepio Member

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    What Doodle posted has also been my experience--fixing the hormones has not necessarily fixed the insomnia and that is why I started Sleepio. Bioidentical hormone replacement has reduced the hot flashes dramatically but I still wake up after 4-5 hours. If I'm under stress--I'll wake up almost every hour the second part of the night. If no stress is going on, I can consistently get 6 hrs/night with the hormone replacement. I have pellet implants of estrogen and testosterone that are inserted in my hip area every 3 months--way better than creams for a better consistent delivery system and way, way safer than oral hormone replacement (according to the wellness doctor). Interestingly, when the doctor adjusted my thyroid medicine to the most optimal range, this is when most of my hot flashes went away and I slept the best in the last 6 years. His belief is that many people walk around with suboptimal thyroid levels even though their numbers are in the “normal” range. This is only my week one of Sleepio so I'm really hoping it will dramatically bring down the internal stress and hyperarousal response my brain seems to be stuck in.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi, I've always struggled on and off with my sleep, more so from the age of forty, but the onset of the menopause at about 48 has devastated my sleep. Hot sweats wake me up each night. Don't want HRT so just have to stick with it. Mid way through week 4 and hoping sleep improves soon, but not sure how good it can get with the hot sweats remaining :(

  • Sleepio Member

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    Sometimes I'm so excited about things, life in general, that sort of stuff that I'm so full of adrenaline I just can't wind down. I know my hormones are all over the place, it's like being a teenager again but this time with a mortgage. The flip side is not so pretty. Trying to concentrate on the relaxation downloads is really difficult. The ups are really useful as I get my housework done but that nights sleep goes down the pan. I'm not mad, just menopausal. Any tips for calming down?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Are your sleep problems connected to your cycle?

    I have never suffered from PMS before I had a child last year.
    Since my period is back I experience mood swings and insomnia for up to a week leading to day 1. Sometimes it lasts for a few days after my period starts as well. I have problem falling asleep, staying awake till 2, 3 or even 5 am.

    I did little research and it seems to be a quite common PMS symptom linked to hormonal drop.

    I am going to talk to endocrinologist and see if my hormones are out of balance, but wanted to hear if others notice this connection. How do you cope with it?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi, I seem to have the same problem as you. At times I feel full of adrenaline too. If I am having a nice time say dancing and things like that, I find it very difficult to calm down, I get extremely excited! It’s great at the time but like you say when it comes to sleep it is very difficult. Some nights I don’t sleep at all and once went four days consecutively without a wink. No tips for calming down unfortunately

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