Hormone Decline May Affect
Sleep Before Menopause
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Declining levels of the hormone estradiol
in the years just prior to menopause may contribute to sleeplessness
in some women, according to the results of a new study.
In fact, estradiol, an
hormone produced by the ovaries,
``may be more important than previously thought for women aged 45 to
49 who report poor sleep,'' Lori E. Hollander and colleagues at the
University Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia report in the
September issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The researchers followed 218
black women and 218 white women aged 35
to 49 over a 2-year period. The women answered questions about their
sleeping habits and had blood samples evaluated for various hormones,
including estradiol, at four different times over the course of the
study. Most continued to have regular menstrual cycles during the
About 17% of the women
suffering from poor sleep throughout
the entire study period. While factors such as anxiety, depression
and caffeine consumption affected how well a woman slept, the
investigators also found that low estradiol levels in women aged 45
to 49 were associated with sleepless nights. Hot flashes were also
associated with difficulty sleeping.
What is interesting about the
finding, the authors note, is that the
women in the study were still experiencing regular menstrual cycles
and had not yet entered menopause. The average age of menopause in
the United States is 51 years.
``The estradiol association
suggests that hormonal changes that occur
with ovarian aging may be associated with poor sleep in some women
earlier than previously thought,'' Hollander and colleagues conclude.
They suggest further studies to test whether hormone supplementation
would be helpful for treating poor sleep in women 45 and older.
SOURCE: Obstetrics and
I have been saying this all along......but no one would listen....