mature couple in bed

Better Sleep During and After Menopause Can Lead to Better Sex

Sleep disturbance is common for many women during menopause, which can lower the odds of sexual satisfaction. That is the finding of a study published February 1st 2017 in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

A release from NAMS explains that according to data analyzed for 93,668 women aged 50 to 79 years who were enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, short sleep duration (defined as fewer than seven to eight hours per night) was associated with lower odds of sexual satisfaction. Of the participants, 56% reported being somewhat or very satisfied with their current sexual activity, and 52% reported partnered sexual activity within the last year. Insomnia prevalence was 31%.

The Menopause article, “Association of sleep disturbance and sexual function in postmenopausal women”, describes how the relationship between sleep length and quality with sexual satisfaction remained even after adjusting for other possible causes of sleep deprivation, including depression and chronic disease. This relationship, however, did vary across age groups. Older women, for example, were less likely to be sexually active if they slept fewer than seven to eight hours per night compared with younger women. In fact, women aged older than 70 years who slept fewer than five hours were 30% less likely to be sexually active than women sleeping seven toeight hours. It is already known that the prevalence of sleep problems increases with age.

The release quotes Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director, as saying, “Women and healthcare providers need to recognize the link between menopause symptoms and inadequate sleep and their effects on sexual satisfaction. There are effective treatment options to help with sleep disruption and sexual satisfaction, including hormone therapy, which this study confirmed to be effective at menopause for symptomatic women.”

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