If our well-being were a string of dominos, sleep loss would be the fallen piece that sends everything else cascading. As the nights of poor sleep add up, so does a host of metabolic, psychological and physiological problems that can touch nearly every aspect of life. And for many women, reaching mid-life can create a perfect storm for sleep disturbances.
Lydia Wytrzes, M.D., a sleep medicine physician with the Sutter Medical Foundation, says about half of women going through menopause report sleep difficulties. For most women, menopause happens between the ages of 45 and 55, but hormonal changes called perimenopause can begin years earlier and start sleep problems.
"By mid-life, women face a culmination of issues that affect sleep," Dr. Wytrzes says. “The key is to identify which of those factors are at play and then methodically work to address them.”