Low-dose hormone therapy improves sleep for newly menopausal women

ROCHESTER, Minn — Mayo Clinic researchers say women just entering menopause can get better sleep with the help of low-dose hormone therapy.

The study, published in Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society suggests 40 to 60 percent of women have issues with sleep and experiences hot flashes and night sweats. This could ultimately lead to further health related problems down the road.

“Poor sleep quality over time affects more than just mood,” says Virginia Miller, Ph.D., director of Mayo Clinic’s Women’s Health Research Center and the study’s corresponding author. “Sleep deprivation can lead to cardiovascular disease, among other health risks. There can be serious consequences — mental and physical — if you’re not getting quality sleep over a long period of time.”

To ease the symptoms of menopause, researchers looked at two different forms of hormone therapy: oral estrogen and the estrogen patch.

When compared to the placebo group, the participants taking low-dose hormone therapy reported getting better sleep over a four-year period. Researchers said that’s twice the improvement of their peers.