Menopause and Stress

Menopause can affect stress levels and take its toll on sleep quality. How does menopause affect stress and what are some holistic remedies women can use?

Lack of sleep is one of the many factors that can lead to stress and when both people in a relationship are low in sleep it can lead to all sorts of problems. It would appear that we as a nation are just not getting enough sleep and that the number of people suffering from stress due to lack of sleep is on the increase.

Sleep is essential for regeneration of both the body and soul. As we get older we seem to manage on less sleep but there are times during the lives of both men and women when changes in hormone levels lead to problems that put an ever increasing strain on relationships.

Let’s look at a few of the problems that men and women may encounter as they get older:

  • Men over the age of 50 may find that they need to get up and go to the loo several times during the night. This is down to the fact that, unlike women, they possess a prostate gland. As men head towards the age of 50, hormone levels start changing and as a result, this walnut-shaped gland starts to swell. This is known as Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (or BPH). As the years pass, the prostate continues to grow little by little, making it more and more difficult for urine to leave the bladder. This is why men find that they can only pass small amounts of urine at a time and feel that they have still more to pass.
  • Getting up and down to the toilet during the night inevitably leads to lack of sleep on both the part of the man and his partner which in turn leads to more stress within the relationship.
  • Although this problem may down to natural ageing, it is always advisable to consult your doctor for a diagnosis. Should BPH be confirmed, an extract of saw palmetto berries may prove beneficial and hopefully lead to more time in bed and less in the loo.

  • In women, the average age for reaching the menopause is 52 years but it can be from as young as 35 and as late as 60 years of age. For women, the menopause can mean freedom from heavy periods, PMS and period pain but it can also trigger symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats that not only cause havoc with sleep but also undermine a woman’s confidence. As a result women can find themselves having to change clothes or bedding frequently, particularly during the night. This disrupts not only the woman’s sleep but also that of her partner. The ensuing lack of sleep on both parts results in stress, low mood, irritability and hence strained relationships.
  • The last thing a women needs when menopausal symptoms are leading to disturbed nights is for her partner to be getting up and down to the toilet when she does actually get to sleep.

But help is at hand

Sage, the purple leaves of which sweat in the sun, has been used as a sweat regulator for centuries. Taking sage at teatime and again before going to bed may help the body to rebalance and provide a solution to menopausal problems that result in disturbed sleep, reduction in energy levels and lack of confidence. Sage does not cause side effect and does not interfere with hormone levels during the menopause.

Being aware of the problems they may encounter at this time in their lives may make both men and women more understanding of each other. Steps can be taken to help relieve symptoms and hopefully both parties will be able to get more sleep. More sleep means less stress and this can then allow relationships to really flourish.

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