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bio-HRT and sleep for women

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 Posted 1/9/2014 7:33:46 AM
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My spouse and I (two 50-something women with menopause in one house... eek!) are transitioning from oral estradiol + Prometrium to bi-est + time-release progesterone.

There's a specific sleep issue associated with menopause: repeated waking for no reason. This is not anxiety waking or difficulty falling asleep. This sleep pattern is mostly found in menopausal women, so it's probably hormonal.

Both of us were sleeping pretty well, with some help (me: L-tryptophan, time-release melatonin, mag threonate, jujube, inositol, progesterone, her: jujube, progesterone), until we transitioned to bi-est. Now, we're both waking repeatedly, sometimes as soon as 15 minutes after falling asleep. This is not good sleep with some waking. It's crappy sleep that affects daytime behavior: flat mood, slow thinking, fatigue.

Is this too little estrogen? Do we need to boost both estriol and estradiol? How important is progesterone dosing?

I'm doing blood tests next week, but my spouse can't because she's been doing hormone holidays every month and just went back on the hormones. She uses bi-est cream. I'm doing trochees.

We're working with our doctor, but she prefers to give the lowest-possible doses, so it would be helpful to know what to ask for.

Thanks,
Elaine
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 Posted 1/9/2014 7:36:51 AM
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Have heard of this but don't know the reason for it.  On a possibly unrelated tangent, are either of you overweight?

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 Posted 1/9/2014 9:48:39 AM
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Neither of us are overweight.

This is a common sleep pattern for menopausal women, but it's hard to find clear guidelines online. I may call the LEF hotline, but I always try to find something in the forums first.

Elaine
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 Posted 1/9/2014 10:16:13 AM
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My reason for asking about weight is because even 10% menopausal weight gain can cause sleep apnea.

Progesterone can help, but some women end up dangerously sleepy during the day when using it.

Melatonin helps most people who use sleep better but due to its short half-life they may wake up in the middle of the night and need to take a second dose. 


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 Posted 1/20/2014 8:18:19 PM
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I have found that I have become sensitive to added MSG and naturally formed glutamic acid especially in cheese, soy sauce and a yeast extract known as Vegemite. I can feel dog tired and yet my body is wired - unable to sleep until 3.30-4.00am with constant movement of limbs. In this situation melatonin does nothing/little for me. I now know to get up and take 2 panadole (pain killers) and a magnesium supplement. There are many foods I exclude after 3.00pm including all caffeine and chocolate. 
http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html 
http://www.greatlakesgelatin.com/consumer/noMSG.php
http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000093000000000000000.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/261322-foods-high-in-glutamic-acid/


I had a patient with symptoms mirror to yours. I treated her over 9 months. She lost weight, eradicated all health challenges, and looked 10 years younger. She stood at my door saying goodbye on a cold nasty day and said "I can't wait to curl up in bed with my hot green tea". That was the solution. There was enough caffeine in a green tea to keep her awake until 3 in the morning. 

One needs to become a detective. I suggest you only eat/cook from scratch to see if 'things' improve. No caffeine of any sort after 3.00pm and no MSG or glutamic. Try this for a month. 
I look forward to hearing how you get on. 
Kind regards, Lynette       

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 Posted 1/21/2014 10:49:07 AM
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Even the caffeine in decaffeinated products can be enough to affect sleep if consumed before bed.

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 Posted 1/22/2014 1:26:21 PM
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Totally agree. 
I read somewhere that 'decaf' coffee served in cafes and restaurants are not regulated as in the strength of the decaffeinated/ness!
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