The hormonal changes that women experience during menopause make the list of Psychology Today’s top five unexpected reasons why people may experience insomnia.
To all female readers, please keep in mind: You are especially susceptible to insomnia when going through menopause. This has to do with menopause being driven by a drop in hormone production, including estrogen and progesterone.
Estrogen is known for being a hormone that regulates women’s reproductive function and menstrual cycle, but it also contributes to better sleep. Higher estrogen levels are connected to fewer sleep arousals during the night, as well as an easier time falling asleep.
Progesterone, on the other hand, helps prepare women for pregnancy. It also regulates mood, protects against anxiety, and contributes to a sense of calm. I often refer to progesterone as the “feel good” hormone; it’s been linked to increased production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes better sleep.