Menopause and Sleep

Menopause is a natural process that occurs in middle-aged women.

Of the many changes that occur, one important one is the reduction in oestrogen and progesterone production. To understand the implications of this on health, it’s important to know what bodily functions these hormones impact.

For instance, a reduction in oestrogen and progesterone levels:

  • increase the rate of cardiovascular complications
  • can result in weight gain in post-menopausal women

Progesterone strongly affects the upper airway dilator muscles and the upper airway reflexes. Naturally, a menopause-induced reduction in progesterone levels means a loss in the protective reflexes. The increases collapsibility of the airway while sleeping. As a result, many women develop symptoms of breathing-disordered sleep after menopause.

Add to this situation, the potential weight gain post menopause can further narrow the throat and exacerbate the situation.