Perimenopause and Sleep

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Not sleeping soundly - frequent bathroom trips

Oct 2004

I have been in perimenopause for about a year now with various symptoms. The stuff that's bothering me most right now has to do sleep issues. First off, I have always had to get up a couple of times a night to go to the bathroom. In fact, about 25 years ago I went to a urologist to check this out and he said I have a ''tiny but perfect bladder''. I have never seen a urologist since, but wonder if I should as I never did get a second opinion. Anyway, related to that is that as of late, I seem to be getting up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom and as a result am not sleeping soundly and get pretty ragged after a couple of days of this. In fact, I had to go to sleep at 8:30 pm last night just to catch up. I do not have a UTI. Not drinking anything after dinner does not affect this. In fact, when I awake in the morning and pee, and then take my shower, after my shower I have to pee again (shower is about 5 minutes). Now on top of all of this, when I lie down at night to go to sleep, my feet get really warm. This from a woman who has in the past slept in polartec socks because my feet are usually so cold!. Now I stick my feet out of the covers when sleeping. And finally, in the morning when I get out of bed, my left foot ''pops'' when I walk - sort of like cracking your knuckles. It only lasts about a minute, but it's weird and obviously not normal. So, I'm looking for advice as to how to deal with these issues. I'm in Contra Costa and have Kaiser. Thanks. My daughter sleeps better than I do!

One thing you said that made me a little nervous was the symptom of having to go to the bathroom lots more than usual. You might want to get checked for diabetes, especially if you feel thirsty a lot. Karen
I would suggest that you should get yourself tested to rule out Diabetes Mellitus or Diabetes Insipidus. These are the two forms of Diabetes. The next thing I wanted to emphasise that around menopause ladies go through lots of hormonal ups and downs. I practice Homeopathy and would be able to help you in restoring your sleep back. Anamika
Hello. I didn't see the original post seeking advice for this problem but I would like to respond to the posting that gives advice about testing for Diabetes Mellitus or Diabetes Insipidus. ''These are the two forms of Diabetes''. This is an inaccurate statement and infers that each has the weight and health risks and/or concerns of the other which in fact they do not. Furthermore, Diabetes Insipidus is fairly rare....
[See Advice about Diabetes for the rest of this posting]

Perimenopausal insomnia

Feb 2001

For the last month or so I've had a lot of trouble with insomnia, much of which I attribute to perimenopausal hormonal changes. I'm wondering if there're any good tips out there for handling insomnia, are there effective herbal treatments; anyone used sleeping pills and if so, which and for how long?

I'm sorry to hear about your insomnia, which I know from personal experience can be awful. Are you experiencing any other related symptoms, like anxiety or panic? I know that hormone shifts in the postpartum period can produce a cluster of symptoms including anxiety, insomnia, and depression, and wouldn't be surprised if the same thing weren't the case during perimenopause. If the insomnia is an isolated symptom rather than the centerpiece of a cluster, I'd suggest, in addition to activities like walks and meditation, a sleeping pill called Ambien. Sometimes a couple of nights of good sleep can get one's body back on track. A sleeping pill used in the short term can be a great help as a kick-starter. However, if your insomnia is part of a larger, hormone triggered, agitated depression (as mine was postpartum), you might benefit from an anti-depressant accompanied initially by either a sleeping pill or an anti-anxiety medication like Ativan. Then, once your anxious depression lifts, your sleep will normalize. If you do end up trying an anti-depressant, be on the alert that SSRI's like Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft can aggravate insomnia, at least initially. Anti-depressants known to help with sleep include Trazodone, Serzone, and Remeron. Good luck and good night! Denise
I had insomnia several years ago and my doctor at the time prescribed Ambien. I became addicted to it within a few weeks, and it took me several years to overcome this dependency. I can't say strongly enough that I think sleeping pills are a *HUGE* mistake. (I also found that the sleep they gave me was quite surreal; I would lose my memory of whatever happened for several hours after I took the drug; for example, if I got up to care for my kids in the middle of the night, I wouldn't have the slightest idea the next morning what I'd done. This was creepy.) I've also heard from friends that Ativan, a tranquilizer, is likewise very addictive. What eventually helped with my insomnia was beginning hormone replacement therapy (which I found helpful before menopause), and beginning to exercise more. It was hard to find time to exercise; race-walking around the neighborhood was a good start. A good book on dealing with insomnia was Overcoming Insomnia; I bought it at Borders.
I, too, have had a lot of insomnia related to my periomenopause. I found Calms Forte, and herbal remedy found in health food stores to be quite effective. It's non-habit forming and I've found I could easily use it when I needed and leave it when I didn't. Good Luck to you. H
I have used a homeopathic remedy called Calms Forte after it was recommended by several friends. I am skeptical about homeopathy but it keeps working, so I know it's not effective just because I believe in it! These little tablets really help me when I know I'm tired but I can't fall asleep, or when I wake up midway through the night and can't get back to sleep. I have noticed no after-effects, nor have I developed any dependency. It's made by Boiron and you can get it at Whole Foods or other health food stores, for about $7 a bottle. Take one for general calming (even during the day), two or even three at bedtime to get you all the way through the night. Sweet dreams!
I suffered from insomnia for nearly a year until I found out about essential oils. Not to go on about their effectiveness but an animal's sense of smell is one of the (our) most primal, complex and powerful of all the senses. I found that a combination of lavender, chammomile, clary sage, and marjoram mixed at 2-4% with vegetable oil and rubbed on the bottom of my feet, temples, and forearms was surprisingly very effective in curing my insomnia. Side effects are nil. Certainly worth a try.