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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    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

  • Sleepio Member

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    Keep trying the sleepio progressive relaxation download I've kept using it and nine times out of ten, I'm out like a light. Hormones are the key to it all but managing them takes effort it worth it. Hope you calm down soon!

  • Sleepio Member

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    I highly recommend a supplement called Estrovera —NOT Estroven, the stuff you get at CVS or Walgreens. Estrovera has special distributors. It’s worked a charm for me! I went off of it recently only because I thought I wanted to try some Chinese herbs, but that was nuts. Estrovera is great. It’s rhubarb root. It was recommended by my gyno.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I happened to start Week #3 on this last Thursday, at the same time I saw a hormone specialist for my perimenopause. I had been taking some estrogen per my normal gyno, but not nearly enough. In fact, she'd recently cut way back on my estrogen, which was just a month before my sleeping problems started. But I managed to get more hormone tablets recently. After two weeks here on Sleepio and taking Temazepam per my sleep doctor (I have a test scheduled end of December) with the bit of estrogen I'd managed to get ahold of, I'd achieved both 93% efficiency and over 7 hours of solid sleep three nights in a row. I was incredibly happy. I figured that when I saw the specialist he'd figure out the right combo of hormones, and I'd be on my way. Right?

    Not so much. The specialist took me off ALL hormones and said I needed to be free of them for 10 days so that we could then do a blood test to get a baseline. Even then, the lab will take several days to process the results. Also, I just started my period yesterday. My sleep Thursday night wasn't terrible -- still 93% efficiency and 6.5 hours. But last night was awful. I couldn't even fall asleep, which normally isn't the problem! And three of my doctors now agree that perimenopause is at the root of my insomnia.

    The specialist said I could take herbal supplements, but those take weeks to kick in. I wish I'd never stopped the Estrovera by Metagenics. That would be saving my life right now. I could go back but it takes a couple of days to order and weeks to kick in. I'm exercising a lot more and doing everything else my doctor (and Sleepio) recommends. Is there anything else I can do?

    Thanks bunches!

    LM

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi everyone!

    Sorry for the long post, but is anyone's sleep here (i.e. women) benefiting from HRT? Here's what's happening for me.

    When I first saw the sleep doctor on 11/22/17, she gave me a course of action: 1) schedule a sleep test, 2) treat my depression, 3) do a CBT-i course (Sleepio.com was an option), and 4) fill out the paper sleep diary (which I've since replaced with Sleepio, along with a list of sleep rules that she gave me). This was to treat my inability to stay asleep and get back to sleep when I woke up after having relied on Benadryl every night for a few years to treat post-nasal drip. I'd stopped cold turkey the first week of October. Man did I have sleep problems, and not just because of the post-nasal drip! I started Sleepio less than a week after seeing my doctor. I'm on Week 5.

    The other doctors I saw to treat my depression -- psychiatrist and therapist -- both said point blank, “This is classic perimenopause.” Sleep problems, depression, the works. So, I finally got in to see a hormone specialist on December 14. He agreed, based on my self report, that my sleep problems and depression were very likely related to perimenopause. He took me off of the odd assortment of hormones my prior gyno had me taking. (Several other doctors, including my GP and internist, had echoed concerns about my gyno's unorthodox approach to HRT.) He then said I had to wait 10 days and then get several blood tests -- hormones, thyroid, Vitamin D -- so that we could get a baseline.

    I was terrified of going 10 days without anything except the temazepam. I did have some cranky, uncomfortable days. But with the help of Sleepio and increased exercise, I actually had some good sleep during that period. In fact, the temazepam works MUCH faster now. I'm usually sleepy within 20 minutes instead of 1.5 hours.

    My blood tests were taken 12/23. I'm waiting for results. I probably won't get to see the hormone specialist and start a plan of action until some time after the first of the year, which is a drag. I'm still seeing the therapist. The psychiatrist has agreed to cease antidepressant treatments until we get the hormone problem straightened out. (None have succeeded, anyway. I have pretty severe serotonin syndrome.)

    Ladies, have you been down this road? If so, what happened?

    Thanks in advance!

    LM

  • Sleepio Member

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    I had to stop HRT abruptly for health reasons and I am finding it extremely difficult. My sleep has deteriorated to unprecedented depths and I cannot see the end of the tunnel…will it ever get better?

  • Sleepio Member

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    I wake up around 4am every night to go to the bathroom. I am so hot that I turn up the air and put the living room ceiling fan on high to help cool me down. Some nights it takes hours to cool down and get back in bed. Some nights I cool off in less than an hour and can lay back down.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Good morning ladies,

    I have hot flashes during the day and night sweats during the night. I have been using Black Cohosh – from Puritan Pride I order it on-line 540 mg. it does help some. I also fan myself with my night gown or the sheet at night. Sometimes if it's real bad I get up to get some cool water and stand near the more powerful fan in our kitchen.

    Hugs, Stacey

  • Sleepio Member

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    Teresi,

    I have never done any HRT only herbs. I use Black Cohosh. Please read my post above. I will try to help you through this emotionally. Have you tried herbs?

    Hugs, Stacey

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