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Post-Menopause and Insomnia
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skincareaddicted
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Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:21 pm      Reply with quote
Hi everyone,

I am posting this question on behalf of mom who is post-menopausal and has major problems falling asleep.

I have done some online research regarding this but I have yet to find anything ground breaking. Suggestions to alleviate post-menopausal insomnia include drinking chamomile tea, warm milk, exercising, etc. She has done all these but they don't seem to help.

I am wondering if anyone is going through this period in their life and experiencing the same problems and if there are anything you've tried that helped with sleepless nights?

Thanks in advance!

Kristen

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bushy
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Sun Feb 18, 2007 11:28 pm      Reply with quote
Is she taking any hormone replacement tablets?

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Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:10 am      Reply with quote
Me,
I have the same problem. My Dr will not give me HRT due to my age & cancer links. She has told me to take black cohosh. I do try but I forget.
I don't think mine is helped by the fact I work nights anyway so my body clock is somewhat confused anyway.
When I cannot sleep I now get up & surf the web & watch TV.

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Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:35 am      Reply with quote
Hi Kristin,

Post menopausal insomnia is, unfortunately, a fact of life for many of us. Crying or Very sad

I have always had minor sleep issues ... but afte menopause they became far more annoying.

Sometimes, I'll feel very tired, go to bed ... and just as I'm dropping off to sleep I have what can only be described as mild panic attacks ... which make me feel wide awake! Mad

Other nights I fall asleep almost as soon as my head touches the pillow ... only to find myself wide awake 20 minutes to 40 minutes later. Mad

It's very frustrating.

Initially my doctor prescribed a non-narcotic sleeping aid that was designed to last for only 4 hours or so ... which was all I really needed. The drug had been developed specifically for "shift" workers who found it difficult to sleep during the day. I loved it because if I was up wandering the house at 2 or 3 am, I could safely take one and I wouldn't have a problem waking up in the morning!

They worked well ... but they stopped making the drug. I guess not enough people were using it. Confused

The next thing she prescribed zapiclone ... which is also non-narcotic ... but which lasts 6 to 8 hours ... meaning I have to be careful to take it no later than 1 am.

I had tried all the usual things to make sleeping "successful" over the years ... but finally had to resort to this new set of non-narcotic drugs ... they call them "hypnotics".

It takes a while in the morning to become fully functional ... but I can't blame that entirely on the zapiclone I'm afraid! Laughing I've always had to have some time, after waking, to get my brain engaged! Laughing

HTH

Mary

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Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:58 am      Reply with quote
oh, please...I just couldn't rake anymore..my doctor put me on the lowest level progesterone & estrace & I've sleeping like a baby..hot bleedin' flashes gone too. I get annual booby checks-regular mam, computerized mams,& the heat-seeking one. The only thing it hasn't helped with is memory-as evidenced by the fact that I can't remember the names of the other 2 tests above Embarassed
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Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:07 am      Reply with quote
I do take HRT it helps but I still have sleep problems. I use aroma therapy (decleor Iris seems to help me sleep but not always) also a Cal/Mag pill with hot milk.

Sometimes, howver, nothing seems to work. I'd love other suggestions.
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Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:10 am      Reply with quote
Hormone replacement treatment sounds like something she should try. She is currently on medication for hypertension also, but i guess her doctor will be able to tell us more.

Mary, can you tell us more about hypnotics?

and I thank everyone for your responses Smile.

like Sharky, i would also love to hear more.

Kristen

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Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:31 pm      Reply with quote
I know there are many against HRT but I have never suffered any menopause symptoms. Two days after I had my hysterectomy, the specialist started me on HRT and I have never looked back.

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Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:18 pm      Reply with quote
Hi SCA! Not wanting to give any medical advice w/o a license here but...barring any abnormal labs (thyroid, CBC, pap, mammo etc), and if she is not on prescription HRT, or any history of breast/uterine probs, would she want to try Remifemin, which is OTC black cohosh, and melatonin, also OTC for sleep. Works for me!! Good luck and good nite!! Very Happy

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Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:28 pm      Reply with quote
OK, I'm going to stick my neck out here and say something about supplements for us boomers fighting tooth and nail all the way Laughing Laughing Laughing I started taking phosphatidylserine available at any online supplement site, and noticed a big difference with mental acuity right away. And, it doesn't keep me up @nite either. I did quite a bit of research B4 taking it and it seems to be safe, but of course, like all supplements, check w/your healthcare professional first. fawnie

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Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:38 am      Reply with quote
bushy--you are a lucky one!

fawnie--you are so funny and cute, i will check out your recommendations this weekend and see what is ok for mum.

Thanks! Kristen

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Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:11 pm      Reply with quote
Can't help, I'm afraid. Just wanted to say that I can't sleep either since the menopause. On the whole, I have no problem taking prescribed drugs (except Prednisolone, which is really quite undesirable and I have to have from time to time). I managed to persuade my dr to give me some sleeping tablets a couple of months ago - one month's worth. But that's all they'll give, usually, in the UK, because of the probability of addiction. An observation: people use alcohol to try to get to sleep: alcohol is addictive: what is worse from a physical health point of view: one pill or half a bottle of wine every night?

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Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:31 pm      Reply with quote
Cesce, unfortunately I have a sleeping problem also. When it gets really tough I use tylenol pm or something from the health food store.

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Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:50 pm      Reply with quote
Salli, thanks for that. I've only heard of Tylenol from books (American fiction authors - same goes for Neosporin) but I just Googled it and apparently it is Paracetamol which is a widely available OTC painkiller. I've been taking a flu relief medication for the last few days which contains a high dose of Paracetamol but, sadly, no help with sleeping. Sad The sleeping tablets my doc gave me were Zopiclone: very mild and not much use. Best help was Co-Codamol (given in hospital for a few days). But that was for pain relief - the 18 hours a day of blissful sleep was a side effect!

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Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:14 pm      Reply with quote
Cesce, the active ingredients in Tylenol PM are Acetaminophen and Diphenhyramine Hydrocholoride. It isn't wonderful, but it works for me when I am desperate. I will also tell you that I recommend something from the health food store over this

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Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:16 pm      Reply with quote
Cesce, if you are also taking prednesone I don't think anything will help you sleep. You just have to tough it out unless your dr can give you something strong enough.

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Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:35 pm      Reply with quote
Salli, I am not (thankfully) currently taking Prednisolone (UK name version of drug). I only mentioned it to reinforce that I am not averse to taking prescription drugs, if necesary. And certainly would take prescription drugs if they would help me sleep, which they would. But I just can't get them in this country. I say again: sleeping tablets may be addictive: alcohol certainly is addictive. From a health point of view, which is worse: one tablet or half a bottle of wine every night?

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Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:10 pm      Reply with quote
I am 50+ and because of endometroisis I cannot take HRT at all. About 4 years ago I started having hot flashes and night sweats. I consulted a Chinese doctor (for other issues) and somehow I am no symptoms for the last few years. My ob/gyn tells me she has other patients who consults with Chinese doctors and take herbs for menopausal symptoms too (go figure) and the herbs work. I asked my Chinese doctor why the herbs I took for other health issues helped with the hot flashes and night sweats and insomnia and she said, Chinese medicine work on the principle of "balance". She tries to treat the whole body, to make the body healthy and "balanced" and as a result a whole host of other health issues improves as well, not just the ones I consulted her on.

If you can find a good authentic Chinese doctor, maybe you can try a consult. In Chicago their fees are very reasonable. $5 for the first consult, and usually about $5 for a packet of herbs. Each visit costs me $25 . After 1 or 2 visits and a few days of taking herbs, one should see whether it works for them or not.
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Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:16 pm      Reply with quote
bushy wrote:
I know there are many against HRT but I have never suffered any menopause symptoms. Two days after I had my hysterectomy, the specialist started me on HRT and I have never looked back.


It took 2 years to finally end up on hormones. My male doctors thought that since they left my ovaries in there that I was fine. Two years of misery later a female internist asked me a few questions told me I was going through menopause and because I already had Osteopenia should go on the patch. It helps some but I still get insomnia.
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Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:45 pm      Reply with quote
I had my ovaries removed as well so my HRT only contains eostrogen. Perhaps there is a difference.

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