Sleep and the perimenopause


There is nothing worse than insomnia but unfortunately it’s one of the most common symptoms of perimenopause. If you’re struggling with sleep in the perimenopause read on!

Sleep and the perimenopause

The hormones estrogen and testosterone both have important effects on your brain, including helping the quality and duration of sleep. Low estrogen levels can lead to sleeping problems but also cause fatigue, difficulty concentrating, headaches, weight gain, and mood changes – a lack of sleep can further exacerbate these symptoms.

The hormone progesterone can be beneficial for sleep too as it increases the production of GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid), another chemical in our brain that works to help sleep. Progesterone can also improve relaxation and mood and a drop in progesterone levels can lead to symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness and trouble sleeping, including a tendency to wake up frequently.


To get a good night’s rest during perimenopause consider:

  • Establishing a regular sleep routine
  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol near bedtime
  • Creating a comfortable sleep environment
  • Trying relaxation techniques
  • Trying over the counter sleep or menopause supplements
  • Discussing hormone replacement therapy with your doctor
lavender and bee

Sleep and Alcohol

While alcohol may help you fall asleep quickly, it can disrupt the quality of your sleep and lead to insomnia. Alcohol can also cause you to wake up during the night, and make it difficult to fall back asleep. Additionally, as the body metabolises alcohol, it can cause an increase in body temperature, which can disrupt sleep. Alcohol can also cause night sweats, which can also lead to sleep disruptions.

It’s best to avoid consuming alcohol close to bedtime, or limit the amount you drink to reduce the impact on your sleep.

Sleep and Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that can affect sleep by making it harder to fall asleep. The effects of caffeine can last for several hours after consumption, so it’s best to avoid consuming caffeine close to bedtime.

Caffeine works by blocking the action of a chemical called adenosine, which builds up in the brain during the day and makes you feel sleepy. When caffeine blocks adenosine, it leads to increased brain activity and a feeling of alertness.

The amount of time it takes for caffeine to leave your system can vary depending on factors such as your age, weight, and overall health, but it can take up to 8 hours for the effects to fully dissipate.

It’s best to avoid consuming caffeine after 2pm or limit your intake to small amounts.

coffee cup

Relaxation techniques to aid sleep

Relaxation techniques can be effective in helping to promote sleep. These techniques can include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, visualisation, and mindfulness practices.

Breathing exercises, such as 4-7-8 breathing, can help to calm the mind and relax the body. Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in the body, which can help to release tension and promote a feeling of calm.

Visualisation involves creating a mental image of a peaceful scene or situation, and focusing on that image to help calm the mind. Mindfulness practices, such as meditation, can also be helpful in promoting relaxation and sleep.

It’s important to find a relaxation technique that works for you and make it a regular part of your bedtime routine.

Creating a good sleeping environment

Creating a comfortable and conducive sleep environment can be an important step in promoting a good night’s rest. Here are a few tips for creating a good sleep environment:

  1. Keep the room cool
  2. Keep the room dark, consider using black out blinds to block out light, or a sleep mask.
  3. Keep the room quiet: Use earplugs or a white noise machine to block out any background noise.
  4. Avoid electronic devices. The blue light emitted from electronic devices can disrupt the production of melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep. It’s best to avoid using electronic devices for at least an hour before bedtime.

Sleep Supplements

The market is saturated with sleep supplements, pillow sprays and oils. Visit your local health food shop or pharmacy for recommendations or check out Hello Magazine’s 2022 article.



Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment option for women experiencing symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, such as hot flushes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances.

 Improving the levels and balance of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and (if needed) testosterone, helps many women sleep better as taking HRT deals with the hormonal cause of the insomnia and reduces the symptoms that might wake you up, for example, night sweats, stress and anxiety, or frequent urination. Women often notice they can fall asleep quicker and wake up during the night far fewer times (or even not at all).

Many women take micronised progesterone (Utrogestan) as the progestogen part of their HRT. Utrogestan is a natural sedative and is usually taken at night time, so can cause drowsiness for some women – an added bonus if you’re struggling to sleep.


I hope my post helps you sleep a little better during the perimenopause.

Thank you for stopping by.

Much love,

Charlotte x

To learn how to boost your immunity click here.


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