Insomnia :: Study links hot flashes in women with chronic insomnia

Severe hot flashes in women aged 35 to 65 years have been associated with chronic insomnia, according to a study published in the latest issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study found that as many as 85 percent of menopausal women experience hot flashes, sensations of heat that may also involve sweating.

“This study provides evidence that severe hot flashes are associated with chronic insomnia in women aged 35 to 65 years,? the authors said.

?The dramatic increase in insomnia in women with severe hot flashes indicates that severity of hot flashes should be routinely assessed in all studies of menopause,? they added.

The symptoms of insomnia include problems falling asleep and/or staying asleep, sleep that is not restful and an overall dissatisfaction with sleep quantity or quality.

The researchers conducted telephonic interviews with 3,243 premenstrual, perimenstrual (women having irregular menstrual cycle), and postmenstrual women in California.

They found out that about 33 percent of the women reported having hot flashes, with the maximum number being the perimenopausal women, followed by the premenopausal and then postmenopausal women.

Hot flashes were defined as mild if they usually did not involve sweating, moderate if they mostly involved sweating but did not require a woman to stop the activity she was pursuing and severe if they typically involved sweating and did require a woman to stop an activity.

The researchers also examined how insomnia related to women’s menopausal status and found that women in perimenopause were more likely to have difficulty falling asleep, non-restful sleep and overall dissatisfaction with sleep. One-third of perimenopausal and postmenopausal women reported that they believed insomnia was related to the development of menopause.

The researchers concluded by saying that by treating hot flashes it is possible to improve sleep quality and minimize the deleterious consequences of chronic insomnia.

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