Hormone Therapy for Irregular Sleep Patterns

According to a poll conducted by the University of Michigan, 46% of adults 65 and older have trouble falling asleep on a regular basis. As we age, our body changes in all sorts of predicable ways. Joints stiffen, brains can slow, wounds take longer to heal, and sleep patterns can shift too. Beginning in middle age, sleep and wake up times change and sleep often gets lighter. The most common shift is a tendency to wake up early. Sleep architecture – the stages and depths of sleep – often change with age as well. Older adults take longer to fall asleep and they tend to wake up more often. They spend less time in a deep sleep and get less of the valuable rapid eye movement (REM) sleep compared to young adults.


Studies have shown that poor sleep can pose particular threats to older adults: falls, depression and anxiety, problems with memory and increased suicide risks. If you experience a sudden change in your sleep, or poor/inadequate sleep is interfering with daily life, or your bedmate says you stop breathing when you snore, that could be a sign of something serious and you should see your doctor. 
For post-menopausal women, hormone therapy may help with your irregular sleep patterns. Contact our office to discuss treatment options.

Author
Brian A Levitt, MD

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