Penn Study: Menopause doesn't cause sleep trouble

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Sorry, ladies. Don't blame menopause for your trouble sleeping.

A new Penn Medicine study says menopause doesn't create or cause difficulty sleeping.

The study says women who have trouble sleeping during menopause probably had trouble sleeping in their late thirties and forties.

Researchers, led by Dr. Ellen Freeman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, followed 255 women for 16 years, documenting their sleep patterns every year.

They found that the women who had trouble sleeping before menopause were largely the same women who had sleep problems during menopause.

They did find that a small group of women with mild sleep difficulty before had a significant increase in sleep issues during menopause.

But they aren't sure the hormonal transition was the cause.

And they found that a large portion of the sleep trouble didn't involve hot flashes.

"Possible reasons for poor sleep instead may include health problems, anxiety, and stress," said Dr. Freeman.

She urged doctors to ask patients whether they had problems sleeping before midlife, as well as the level and duration of earlier poor sleep patterns.