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Sleep hit most by menopause

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Sleep deprivation, rather than hot flushes, is the most troublesome aspect of the menopause, US nurse research has found.

Researchers asked 110 women entering the menopause about symptoms. None were taking hormonal treatments.

Sleep difficulties, forgetfulness and irritability were the three most frequently perceived symptoms, followed by hot flushes. When symptom severity was rated, sleep difficulties came out top again, followed by night sweats and irritability.

Some symptoms changed in frequency as women moved through the menopause but sleep problems persisted.

The study might help nurses to prepare women who do not want hormonal treatments on what to expect, the authors said.

Journal of Clinical Nursing (2008) 17: 940–948

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