Menopause & Fatigue
Menopause can leave you feeling more exhausted than usual. The occasional sleeplessness many menopausal women experience is partly to blame, along with declining estrogen and progesterone levels.
What is fatigue?
Fatigue during menopause manifests itself in many forms, including:
- A “dragging” feeling throughout the day
- Wanting to nap in the afternoon
- Increased irritability
- Feeling “worn out”
- An overwhelming feeling of exhaustion
What causes fatigue in menopause?
Changes in both estrogen and progesterone levels lead to the lack of energy that many women experience in menopause. Lower estrogen levels can interrupt sleep patterns, which leads to daytime sleepiness. Progesterone is the hormone responsible for keeping women energized, and when menopause strikes this hormone drastically diminishes. This imbalance may cause women to lose their regular liveliness and sex drive, and can leave them feeling tired.
What can you do?
If you’re feeling tired all the time, it’s important to talk to first talk to your doctor to rule out a more serious issue. It’s also important to make lifestyle changes to increase your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
- Avoid or decrease caffeine in the late afternoon and evening hours
- Avoid or decrease alcohol. This may help you fall asleep initially, but can disturb your sleep later and cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
- Eat a high protein snack at bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom cool at night to prevent night sweats.
- Exercise daily, but refrain from vigorous exercise within three hours of bedtime.
- Practice relaxation techniques, like yoga or meditation.