Peri- and postmenopausal women frequently complain of insomnia or poor sleep quality. Sleep disturbance is often attributed to nocturnal hot flashes; however, many menopausal women may have a primary sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.
Various pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic options are available for the treatment of menopause-related insomnia. The findings of a recent study using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for the management of menopausal sleep problems was presented by Dr. Vivek Pillai at SLEEP 2016: 30th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.
The participants were randomly assigned to 6 weeks of CBT for insomnia (n = 35), 2 weeks of sleep restriction therapy or SRT (n = 28), or a 6-week information-only control condition (n = 25). Both CBT and SRT reduced insomnia and fatigue; however, the beneficial effects of CBT, but not SRT, were robust and persisted even 6 months after the end of treatment.
Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD
Menopausal Insomnia: CBT May Offer Robust, Long-term Relief (Medscape – free subscription)