We don’t need to tell you how important sleep is for overall well-being and longevity (we’ll just nudge you here and here, in case you need a refresher). And, we should note, it’s crucial to clock in hours no matter your age—catching quality Zzz’s is always a good idea.
However, focusing on sleep during menopause becomes even more major, as difficulty sleeping is one of the most common menopausal health issues. According to Romm, this happens because “better sleep [can] become challenging as estrogen and progesterone go down.” Progesterone, it turns out, is significant for sleep: It helps calm the mind, and research has even found that menopausal women who took progesterone daily at bedtime had improved sleep quality.*
A drop in estrogen, on the other hand, can affect hot flashes and make you sweat while you sleep—a concept called night sweats that wakes many women up in the middle of the night. “Hot flashes keep you awake, but also know that when estrogen goes down, blood sugar can rise, leading to wakefulness in the night,” naturopathic doctor Doni Wilson, N.D., once told mbg.