New study reveals menopausal women lose 2.5 hours’ sleep a night

A peri-menopausal woman holds a blue pillow over her face because she's unable to sleep
(Image credit: Getty)

Leading mattress brand Silentnight has today released the results of a new study looking at the effects of the menopause on sleep. The study, which coincides with Menopause Awareness Month, found that 4 in 10 women going through the menopause are having to sleep in a separate bed to their partner due to sleep issues brought on by the transition.

83% of respondents said they suffer from sleep issues that impact their lives on a day-to-day basis, resulting in mood swings, concentration and memory lapses, and strained relationships.

The key findings of the Silentnight study of 1,000 women show that:

  • 48% of respondents claim poor sleep caused by menopause has had a negative impact on their relationship. 
  • 67% lose an average of 2.5 hours of sleep a night, adding up to 37 days a year
  • 44% say poor sleep as a result of menopause has negatively affected their career
  • 61% experience night sweats and overheating

While the key findings show how disruptive menopause can be to sleep, 6 in 10 respondents also shared that their partners are actively supportive of the issues they’re facing. 

Silentnight’s Sleep Knowledge and Research Manager, Hannah Shore, said: “there are several techniques women (and their partners) can employ to improve their sleep when going through menopause. 

“One common technique, as the data shows, is to sleep in separate beds. While it may sound unhealthy to some, separate night-time spaces can be a great way to prioritise sleep.”

How menopause affects sleep quality

Most of us need a cool, dark and quiet space to sleep in at night, with a bedroom temperature of 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 to 20 degrees Celsius). This is especially important for women going through menopause as they are more likely to experience hot flashes and overheating in bed. So, it could be time to turn down the heat in your bedroom.

woman in bed, rubbing her face

(Image credit: Getty)

“61% experience night sweats, 41% suffer from insomnia and 23% endure heart palpitations, according to our research,” Shore reveals, before adding that, “Fluctuating progesterone levels during menopause can lead to night sweats, disrupting sleep by raising core body temperature at an inappropriate time.”

So trying to sleep as cool as possible can help reduce some of the uncomfortable overheating brought on by menopause. We’d also recommend investing in a proper cooling mattress if night sweats and hot flashes are waking you up.

How to sleep better with menopause

Menopause is hugely disruptive to sleep, so this is a time when you really need to stay on top of your sleep hygiene and make sure that your bedroom is nothing short of a relaxing haven. 

If your current bed is more than seven years old or showing signs of sagging, we’d recommend buying the best mattress for your body and budget. Choose one with temperature regulating properties, such as cooling gels, or go for a hybrid mattress as these use coils or springs that encourage better airflow. 

Also take a look at your pillows, bedding and bed clothes. Ideally you want to sleep in temperature-wicking and cooling fabrics, such as organic cotton. Wool is an excellent choice of filling for bed pillows as it helps dissipate heat and circulates airflow. 

Beyond what you’re sleeping on and the room you’re sleeping in, we’d recommend the following:

  • Follow a regular sleep schedule and get up at the same time each day
  • Avoid late afternoon naps as these will lower your sleep drive and you’ll take longer to fall asleep at night
  • Create a bedtime routine that relaxes your body and mind
  • Ditch the caffeine after midday as it has a half-life of 9.5 hours
Claire Davies
Senior Sleep Editor, Certified Sleep Science Coach

Claire Davies is Tom's Guide's mattress expert and main sleep product tester with over 15 years' product review experience, and she is responsible for all mattress and sleep coverage on the site. A qualified journalist, Sleep Editor and Certified Sleep Science Coach, Claire writes about all things related to sleep, from mattress reviews to the latest sleep techniques and research. Claire has interviewed a wealth of experts, from mattress designers and innovators to neuroscientists and doctors of sleep medicine. Before taking on the role of Sleep Editor, Claire worked as Health & Wellness Editor at Top Ten Reviews, and before that was a Senior Content Editor at T3. Claire is super-passionate about how consistent, good quality sleep can boost our physical and mental wellbeing, and would love to hear from PRs and brands regarding sleep products, services and research that can help our readers sleep better than ever.