Menopause Sleep Challenges
Somewhere between the ages of 35–55 years of age most women will experience menopause symptoms when levels of estrogen and progesterone diminish. For several years prior to the onset of menopause, a gradual reduction in hormone levels may lead to certain symptoms such as irregular menstrual periods, hot flashes, mood swings and poor sleep. This early stage of symptoms is often referred to as perimenopause and may begin 4–8 years before actual menopause. Often these indicators creep up on a person and can go unrecognized or misidentified for a very long time. It helps to be prepared and informed.
Aging ovaries result in diminishing amounts of estrogen and progesterone. Reduced levels of estrogen and progesterone result in reduce levels of key sleep producing hormones such as serotonin, melatonin and growth hormone. Progesterone is, in itself, a sleep-inducing hormone and as levels decrease so does sleep quality but it is more complicated than that. The shifting of ratios of estrogen to progesterone can also disrupt natural brain processes that induce a proper sleep.
During menopause and perimenopause insomnia is characterized by waking frequently in the middle of the night or waking too early and being unable to return to sleep. There is a clear relationship between estrogen levels and tryptophan: tryptophan levels in the brain tend to go down as estrogen levels in the blood begin to decrease. It is not surprising then that tryptophan has been tried as a symptomatic treatment for insomnia associated with menopause and perimenopause and has been helpful for many.
Other uncomfortable symptoms of perimenopause such as sudden hot flashes can lead to wakefulness at night or an inability to return to sleep once roused. Appropriate tryptophan levels in the brain at the time of sleep greatly enhance the ability of the brain to return to sleep once sleep has been disturbed.
Coupled with these disruptive new concerns is the fact that there are seemingly few treatment options available. Hormonal Replacement Therapy [HRT] has historically been a medical solution to poor quality sleep associated with low estrogen levels. There has been considerable controversy over the use of HRT in the last 20 years because of the reported increased risk of stroke, some forms of cancer and Alzheimer’s dementia. Most of these risks were identified by a 2002 study published in JAMA which was actually stopped early because of the elucidation of increased risks.
Fortunately, these researchers continued to follow-up on thousands of women monitored in this study and found 18 years later that those taking HRT did not die any earlier than those that did not take HRT. There remains controversy about the healthy use of HRT still but fortunately there is a much richer research focus and body of research now on healthy ageing especially vis a vis women’s health.
If HRT is recommended by your physician, you may find relief from your insomnia, but you may also require extra vitamin B6 to act as a co-factor for the production of melatonin. If you choose not to take this route, be exceedingly cautious of sleeping pills when searching for solutions. Short term use may be beneficial in some instances, but regular use can quickly turn to tolerance and dependence which creates many more serious issues down the road. Choose a proven, non-addictive sleep aid if you must take something.
Zenbev Drink Mix is the healthiest sleep aid to consider when searching for a natural sleep aid or natural anxiety aid, especially if you have never experienced sleep or anxiety issues before. Zenbev is ideal in the middle of the night when these awakenings prove most anxiety provoking and frustrating.
In the clinical trial that tested the Zenbev formulation against synthetic tryptophan, the Zenbev formulation out-performed tryptophan in the middle of the night and helped participants wake half as often and stay awake half as long which provided a significant improvement in overall time asleep and subsequent mood the next day.
If you see yourself in these words, consider trying Zenbev Drink Mix, the best over the counter sleep aid available. Zenbev works naturally and will never lead to tolerance or dependence. You can take it when you need to and stop when you don’t need it anymore. Sleep issues may come with the menopause territory but there is a natural sleep and anxiety solution that will see you through.