Women going through menopause lose an average of more than five and a half weeks of sleep per year, according to new national research.
The study, conducted by sleep experts at Silentnight, was commissioned to lay bare the true impact that the menopause is having on sleep. It found that nearly two thirds of women (64%) going through menopause suffer from disrupted sleep.
The survey further revealed that women going through menopause wake up an average of 2.7 times per night, losing an average of two hours and thirty six minutes of sleep.
That adds up to more than five and a half weeks of lost sleep over the course of a year, and 22 weeks of lost sleep weeks over the course of an average woman’s menopause.
According to the experts at Silentnight, the UK’s most trusted sleep brand, changes in hormone levels as we age can cause sleep disturbances, and sleep disturbances can alter hormone levels, turning into a vicious cycle.
Sleeplessness can affect around ten different hormones and shifts in these hormones can cause changes in appetite, mental wellbeing, cardiac health and even fertility.
The research found over four fifths of women (82%) going through menopause suffer from body temperature issues, with 61% experiencing night sweats, 41% suffering from insomnia and 23% enduring heart palpitations.
It’s not just at night that the menopause has an impact, with 67% of women revealing they were more tired during the daytime than they ordinarily would be when going through menopause.
Silentnight’s research also found there is work to be done when it comes to helping women as they go through menopause with over half of women (55%) agreeing that there is a stigma in talking about it.
Just 21% of women believe there is enough menopause-related support, while 42% did not seek out a professional to help them through the process.
Women cited several personal problems as a result of menopause, with 36% suffering from confidence issues, three in ten (30%) experiencing relationship problems and a quarter (25%) having issues with their social life.
Hannah Shore, Silentnight Sleep Expert, said: “Our research lays bare the true scale of the issue when it comes to sleep and menopause, with women losing out on more than a month of sleep each and every year.
“This adds up to a huge amount of lost sleep over the average course of a woman’s menopause, which can last up to ten years for some women and can trigger a host of other issues from insomnia to problems in people’s personal lives.
“To help get access to good quality sleep through the night when going through the menopause, we need our body temperature to drop by around a degree or two.
“Keeping a cool temperature in the bedroom and using light, natural blend linen and/or nightwear is one good way to get ahead, silk can be particulary effective for keeping cool. When selecting your pillow, try staying away from foam products as they tend to hold onto heat, instead opt for breathable polyester or natural products, like Silentnight’s Airmax Pillow.
“For sleepers who tend to overheat all year round, the Silentnight Eco Comfort Breathe Mattress is designed to regulate body temperature.
“Tested on menopausal women, the mattress has a patented microclimate system which is scientifically proven to keep the sleeper cooler, resulting in less disruption and less awakenings during the night, with our testers saying they fell asleep quicker and woke up feeling more relaxed just by changing their mattress.
“Anyone who’s really struggling with their sleep when going through menopause should start by seeing their GP for advice and further treatment.
For more sleep advice, visit the Silenight Sleep Blog: https://www.silentnight.co.uk/blog