Menopause and Poor Sleep Quality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Chih-Jen Chang, MD
Department of Family Medicine
National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Chang:  Postmenopausal women without vasomotor symptoms (hot flushes and night sweats) have poorer sleep quality than premenopausal women. In addition, menopause and snoring are associated with an increased risk of poor sleep quality independently of cardiometabolic factors and lifestyle.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Chang:  Previous studies of the association between menopause and sleep quality emphasized the severity of vasomotor symptoms because women ask health providers for help in managing vasomotor symptoms that interfere with their daily lives. Many women might therefore ignore potentially harmful symptoms other than vasomotor symptoms, such as sleep disturbance, which is associated with increased risk of diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. However, the lack of studies in women without vasomotor symptoms made it difficult to clarify the relationship between menopause and sleep
quality. The results of our study showed that postmenopausal women without
vasomotor symptoms have poorer sleep quality than premenopausal women.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Chang:    Postmenopausal women, even those without vasomotor symptoms, should be alerted to the risk of poor sleep quality.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Chang:   This study used a cross-sectional design and did not allow examination
of a causal relationship between menopause and sleep quality. Conducting a
prospective study would be better to address this issue. Moreover, the
mechanisms underlying how menopause and sleep disturbance interact remain
unclear. The changes in sex hormones, the prevalence of breathing-related
sleep disorders and periodic limb movement disorders, and the level of
psychological or socioeconomic stress should be assessed in the future
research.

Citation:
Menopause is associated with self-reported poor sleep quality in women without vasomotor symptoms

Hung HC, Lu FH, Ou HY, Wu JS, Yang YC, Chang CJ.
Menopause. 2014 Jan 6. [Epub ahead of print]

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