A disrupted sleep during menopause can affect your mood and energy levels. But if you learn the relationship between HRT and sleep, you may be relieved!
The treatment of hormonal imbalances during menopause with hormone replacement therapy has been proven to be successful. Despite its basic uses, there is now an emerging interest in exploring the effects of HRT on sleep quality. So, our blog will be centered on the following sections to keep you informed:
Table of Contents
The importance of sleep can’t be ignored when it comes to emotion regulation, cognitive function, and maintaining overall health. However, the condition of menopause can be responsible for disturbing the pattern of sleep and affecting overall well-being. Amidst the chaos of disturbed sleep, HRT can be a sigh of relief for you.
Let’s explore how HRT can affect your sleep quality.
To treat hormonal imbalances, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) involves supplementing or replacing the body’s natural hormones. It is typically used to treat menopause-related symptoms in women, including hot flashes and mood swings.
HRT can be administered in the form of oestrogen-only therapy to benefit women undergone hysterectomy, while combined oestrogen and progestin therapy can help those with intact uteruses.
By supplementing the body with much-needed hormones, HRT can help alleviate bothersome symptoms caused by menopause
The Relation Between Hormone and Sleep Quality
Sleep is vital in maintaining our overall health and our hormones influence the sleep-wake cycle. During menopause, hormone imbalance can disrupt sleep, raising the question of how HRT improves sleep quality.
Let’s examine the impact of hormones on sleep in more detail:
You may be familiar with melatonin as the ‘sleep hormone’. It is a natural substance produced by the pineal gland, a tiny gland located in your brain. When it gets dark, your body starts making melatonin, and this hormone tells your body that it’s time to get ready for sleep.
This hormone can be a game changer in repairing tissue and regenerating overall health. It is released during the early stages of deep sleep, particularly in the first half of the night, and aids in the body’s repair and renewal while you are sleeping soundly.
Oestrogen and Progesterone
These are ovaries-produced female sex hormones. During the menstrual cycle, these hormones may get out of balance and disturb sleep patterns. The optimal level of these hormones can ensure calming sleep.
This hormone plays a vital role in regulating metabolism in the body. Your sleep pattern may be impacted by a thyroid hormone imbalance, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Orexin, also referred to as hypocretin, is a neuropeptide that is essential for promoting wakefulness and controlling the sleep-wake cycle. Narcolepsy, a sleep disorder characterised by excessive daytime sleepiness, can be caused by a lack of orexin.
Does HRT Help Sleep Problems?
A study in Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society, showed that low-dose hormone therapy may help menopausal women sleep better. This study was directed by Dr. Virginia Miller of the Mayo Clinic Women’s Health Research Centre, who investigated how two hormone therapies affected sleep quality and how they related to hot flashes.
The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index was used by menopausal women to rate how well they slept, and how frequently they experienced hot flashes and night sweats. The results of the research revealed that women who have been using low-dose HRT experienced a great improvement in their sleep over the time of four years as compared to those in the placebo group.
The study showed that there is a connection between better sleep and a change in hot flashes and night sweats. However, Dr Miller expressed that it is still difficult to tell whether poor sleep quality is brought on by these symptoms or the other way around. However, the research suggests that low-dose HRT and sleep are correlated and can be an option to improve menopausal women’s sleep quality.
How Long Before HRT Helps Sleep?
Depending on the individual, HRT may take longer or shorter to improve sleep. After beginning HRT, some women may see positive changes in their sleep patterns quickly, while others might need more time to see noticeable improvements.
Within a few weeks of beginning HRT, some women may experience an improvement in their sleep quality. Some of these benefits include less sleep disturbances and higher sleep quality.
However, the effect of HRT also depends on individual factors such as the type of hormones used, the dosage, the woman’s hormonal profile, and her overall health condition.
Considerations and Suggestions
Since you have explored the potential effects and relation between HRT and sleep.Here are some ideas to consider while choosing the best course of action for your sleep disturbance.
Have a look:
Although HRT can be beneficial in improving your sleep quality, still it is important to consider individual variations. You can get HRT specifically tailored to your medical history, existing health conditions, and hormonal levels. You can receive the optimal treatment plan based on your needs by consulting with a gynaecologist or endocrinologist.
As the above study indicated, taking low-dose HRT can be effective in enhancing your sleep. It’s necessary, to begin with the lowest effective dose and carefully track the response. This strategy addresses insomnia while minimising potential side effects.
If you have decided to take HRT, you should not replace it with healthy sleeping habits. If you keep sleep hygiene and limit your screen time before bed, you can maximise the benefits of HRT and contribute to the improvement of your sleep.
Monitor Sleep Patterns
You should monitor your sleep habits while using HRT. Observing the changes in your sleep disturbances can give you productive feedback about the effectiveness of HRT.
Addressing Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
In menopause, the occurrence of hot flashes and night sweats can be responsible for disturbed sleep. If you adopt lifestyle changes along with HRT, you can reduce the frequency and intensity of night sweats and eventually ensure restful sleep.
Note: If you are taking HRT, it is good to have regular checkups with your GP to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment and make the necessary adjustments to it.
Also Read: Does HRT help with Weight Loss?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), particularly for menopausal women, can be a helpful strategy for enhancing sleep quality. Even though the timeframe for experiencing sleep changes may vary, some people may see progress in just a few weeks.
It is essential to seek advice from medical professionals, get regular checkups, and maintain open communication in order to guarantee the best results. Your sleep and quality of life can be improved if you combine HRT with a change in lifestyle.
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Will HRT help me sleep?
HRT may help improve sleep quality, especially in individuals experiencing sleep disturbances such as menopausal women.
How long does HRT take to work for sleep?
Individual differences affect how long HRT takes to enhance sleep; some people experience changes in just a few weeks, while others may require more time.
How do you treat insomnia during menopause?
Treatment options for menopause-related insomnia include HRT, cognitive-behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), and relaxation methods.
What can I take to help me sleep during menopause?
During menopause, you can consider taking options like melatonin supplements, herbal remedies (e.g., valerian root or chamomile), or consult a healthcare professional for safe sleep aids.
Can oestrogen help with sleep?
Yes, oestrogen can help improve sleep quality, especially in menopausal women, as it plays a vital role in regulating sleep patterns.