Poor sleep in middle-aged women is not associated with menopause per se

Braz J Med Biol Res. 2016 Jan;49(1):e4718. doi: 10.1590/1414-431X20154718. Epub 2016 Nov 17.

Abstract

Whether sleep problems of menopausal women are associated with vasomotor symptoms and/or changes in estrogen levels associated with menopause or age-related changes in sleep architecture is unclear. This study aimed to determine if poor sleep in middle-aged women is correlated with menopause. This study recruited women seeking care for the first time at the menopause outpatient department of our hospital. Inclusion criteria were an age ≥40 years, not taking any medications for menopausal symptoms, and no sleeping problems or depression. Patients were assessed with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), modified Kupperman Index (KI), and Menopause Rating Scale (MRS). A PSQI score of <7 indicated no sleep disorder and ≥7 indicated a sleep disorder. Blood specimens were analyzed for follicle-stimulating hormone and estradiol levels. A total of 244 women were included in the study; 103 (42.2%) were identified as having a sleep disorder and 141 as not having one. In addition, 156 (64%) women were postmenopausal and 88 (36%) were not menopausal. Follicle-stimulating hormone and estradiol levels were similar between the groups. Patients with a sleep disorder had a significantly higher total modified KI score and total MRS score (both, P<0.001) compared with those without a sleep disorder. Correlations of the PSQI total score with the KI and MRS were similar in menopausal and non-menopausal women. These results do not support that menopause per se specifically contributes to sleep problems.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Behavior Rating Scale
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Estrogens / blood*
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Hot Flashes / complications
  • Humans
  • Menopause / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Postmenopause / blood
  • Quality of Life
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / blood
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / physiopathology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweating
  • Symptom Assessment

Substances

  • Estrogens
  • Estradiol
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone