Is there anything worse than a bad night’s sleep? When we experience poor sleep, which refers to both the amount and quality of sleep, we will be tired and cranky the next day. Our ability to focus, concentrate, think clearly, do our work, and take good care of ourselves and our families suffers. Poor sleep leads to fatigue and irritability, increases the risk for heart disease and depression.
POOR SLEEP, PERIMENOPAUSE AND MENOPAUSE
Sleep issues increase dramatically during perimenopause and menopause and are one of the most common complaints I hear in my practice. In fact, almost fifty percent of women in their late 40’s and 50’s will experience some degree of sleep disturbance. And despite the fact that sleep issues are twice as common in women, most of the sleep research has been done on men!
Of the non-medical reasons why midlife women experience problems with sleep, perhaps they all funnel down to one word…stress. Difficulties with work, finances, relationships, snoring spouses, children having bad dreams, aging parents who are not listening to your advice, divorce and death are enough reasons to keep women worrying about stuff and not getting enough sleep. I would also like to add pets to the list. My dog, Sadie, woke me up several times last night.
Of course, there are some specific medical reasons why midlife women experience sleep disturbances. These include hot flashes, night sweats, depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, chronic pain, nighttime urinary frequency and certain drugs that treat thyroid disease, depression and anxiety. You can bet that anyone with major chronic health issues like heart and lung disease as well as cancer are also suffering from fragmented sleep.
Now here comes a midlife medical research mystery. Despite the fact that you and I are convinced that our hot flashes and night sweats are waking us up, many clinical studies that have sought to prove this cause and effect have not clearly made the connection. It seems so obvious. However, it turns out that not every women wakes up after a nighttime flash or sweat. There is also evidence that perhaps it is the awakening that happens first which then triggers the flashing and sweating. But when we wake up drenched or just very hot, that is the end of our chance at getting a good night’s sleep. Continue reading »
Dr. Tara Allmen is one of America’s leading experts in menopausal medicine. She is a Nationally Certified Menopause Practitioner and highly respected in the medical community. Inspired to reach millions of American women over the age of 40 with accurate scientific information that can help them, Dr. Allmen has appeared numerous times on local and national television, created an extensive library of video information available on this website, and the DVD “Menopause in an Hour.”
A graduate of New York’s prestigious Stuyvesant High School, Dr. Allmen earned her bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and her medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, she completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Allmen started her professional career in a private obstetrical practice but ultimately decided to follow her passion for menopausal medicine. She joined Columbia Presbyterian’s Center for Menopause, Hormonal Disorders and Women’s Health in 1999, focusing her practice on perimenopause and menopause.
Dr. Allmen has educated thousands of medical professionals around the country on menopausal medicine. She has also been featured on television, both in the United States and internationally.
Dr Allmen is also the founder and director of The Allmen Foundation, a non-profit organization that primarily supports organizations working in the areas of women’s health, childhood education and animal welfare. The North American Menopause Society, the leading non-profit organization dedicated to menopausal women’s health, refers to Dr. Allmen as a “Visionary” contributor.
Having identified the frustrations of many women regarding getting objective, scientifically-based advice on menopause or access to professionals who specialize in menopausal medicine, Dr. Allmen created Menopause in an Hour.
Dr. Allmen lives in New York City with her husband, Lawrence M. Kimmel, their two children, and a small dog named Sadie.
Board Certified Obstetrician
National Certified Menopause Practitioner
Fellow of the American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Dr. Oz Show Medical Advisory Board
CEO, The Allmen Foundation
Wife, Mother and Friend