Menopause and fatigue
Menopause and fatigue, tiredness and low energy seem to go hand-in-hand for many people. This can happen either as a direct result of hormonal changes, or because other menopausal symptoms (like hot flushes) are disrupting your sleep.
These symptoms may also happen due to underlying medical conditions, so it is important to see your doctor in certain circumstances. Read on to find out more about the causes of menopause tiredness, treatments and when to seek help.
Fatigue is when the tiredness is often overwhelming and isn’t relieved by sleep and rest.
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HOW LIKELY IS MENOPAUSE TIREDNESS?
Tiredness is one of the most common symptoms of menopause.
- 40-60% are known to suffer from disturbed sleep and sleep disturbance at menopause, and most will feel fatigue as a consequence.
Read more about the stages of menopause.
SIGNS OF FATIGUE
Feeling very tired or sleepy
Slowed reflexes and responses
Impaired judgement and decision-making
HOW CAN YOU REDUCE MENOPAUSE EXHAUSTION?
2. Take care of your diet. Certain vitamin and nutrient deficiencies (including low iron and low B12) can contribute to fatigue. Read more about weight gain during menopause.
3. Good sleep hygiene. Avoid daytime naps and have a regular bedtime and wake time.
4. Reduce stimulants. Avoid any substances which can impact on sleep, including alcohol, tobacco and caffeine
5. Keep cool: Helpful tips include, wear lightweight layers you can remove quickly – you can buy menopause-friendly nightwear engineered to wick away sweat. Use sheets and blankets for bedding instead of a duvet, so you can adapt to your temperature easily. Invest in a cooling face spray and fan for when the heat hits.
6. Wind down before bed. Avoid using any screens before bed (including phones, computers and televisions).
WOULD HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (HRT) HELP?
Yes. HRT is known to improve sleep, mood and hot flushes, all of which may disrupt your sleep and lead to tiredness. However, HRT comes with risks and is not suitable for everyone. Speak to your doctor about your personal treatment options.
Read more about the HRT debate.
FATIGUE AND MENOPAUSE
I often felt so exhausted I couldn’t function during the day”