A new study by Silentnight reveals the impact menopause has on sleep and relationships, with four in ten menopausal women going through it regularly sleeping separately from their partner. In addition, the data reveals that partners of menopausal women can miss out on more than a month’s sleep during the year due to tossing and turning.
Four in ten women regularly sleep separately from their partner while going through menopause in a bid to secure sound slumber, according to new research. The study¹ from Silentnight also found a shocking 83% of menopausal women suffer from sleep issues which impact their lives in several different ways.
Nearly half of women (48%) claim poor sleep caused by menopause has had a negative impact on their relationship, with over two-thirds saying symptoms regularly result in arguments with their partner.
Similarly, almost four in ten women (38%) say poor sleep during menopause has had a negative impact on their relationship with their wider family, while 44% say it has negatively affected their career.
According to the experts, fluctuations in progesterone and oestrogen levels during menopause can directly impact sleep, causing hot flashes and restlessness.
Similarly, reduced sleep quantity and quality affect mood, concentration, and memory, impacting physical, mental, and emotional well-being, potentially straining relationships and work performance over time.
According to the Silentnight survey of 1,000 menopausal and peri-menopausal women in relationships, these issues have a knock-on effect on various aspects of their lives.
The study found over two-thirds (67%) of those in a relationship with menopausal women also suffer from sleep issues, losing an average of two and a half hours of sleep per night.
This adds up to over seventeen hours a week, which is more than three full days a month – and a whopping 37 days over a year.
Fortunately, the survey found over six in ten menopausal women say their partner is actively supportive of the issues they face.
Experts say hormonal changes resulting from menopause can increase the risk of diagnosed sleep disorders like sleep apnoea and restless leg syndrome, with anyone suffering from symptoms advised to see their GP.
Overall, women believe there should be more support for those living with menopause, with 70% saying there should be free tools to support open communication within relationships about the impact of menopause on sleep.
Silentnight’s Sleep Expert Hannah Shore said, “Our research lays bare the true scale of the issues the menopause causes when it comes to sleep, not only on those experiencing symptoms but also on those around them.
“The good news is that we’re here to get the conversation going – and 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, providing you both with additional space, important alone time, undisturbed sleep – and ultimately, better rest.
“Also, remember that we need our body temperature to drop by a degree or two in order to access good quality sleep throughout the night. Keeping a cool temperature in the bedroom and using light, cotton bed linen and/or nightwear is one good way to get ahead.
“This is especially important for women going through menopause, as they are more likely to suffer from temperature issues, with 61% experiencing night sweats, 41% suffering from insomnia and 23% enduring heart palpitations, according to our research.
“Fluctuating progesterone levels during menopause can lead to night sweats, disrupting sleep by raising core body temperature at an inappropriate time.
“If you don’t opt against sharing a bed, try sleeping the Scandinavian way by embracing separate duvets to suit everyone’s needs. Alternatively, use the Silentnight Yours and Mine duvet, which has a clever half-and-half design, with one cool side and one warm half.
“If poor sleep due to menopause is impacting your relationship with your partner, try and communicate with them by having a conversation about how you could improve both of your sleep. Anyone who’s really struggling should see their GP for advice and further treatment.”
For more sleep advice, visit the Silentnight Sleep Blog at www.silentnight.co.uk.
¹ OnePoll survey of 1000 menopausal/peri-menopausal women, August 2023.
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