Alex N. Ladan, Hannah E. Cabre, Sam R. Moore, Kelly E. Joniak, Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, FACSM. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.

BACKGROUND: Sleep disturbances are a core symptom of menopause. Understanding sleep changes during the menopause transition may mitigate disruptions to overall health and quality of life. The purpose of this study was to evaluate sleep quantity and quality and the relationship with menopausal symptoms in pre-, peri-, and post-menopausal women. METHODS: 72 healthy women (mean ± SD; Age=48.0 ± 7.2 years, Ht=163.0 ± 6.3 cm, Wt=69.0 ± 14.2 kg) were stratified as pre-menopausal (PRE; n=24) who were eumenorrheic, peri-menopausal (PERI; n=24) who had irregular cycle lengths, and post-menopausal (POST; n=24) who had no period for 12 consecutive months prior to their visit. Overall self-reported sleep quality was quantified by The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) to calculate a global score (GS) and reported as minutes asleep per night (RM, min). Participants wore a wrist tracker for at least six consecutive days to evaluate minutes asleep (MA, min), Rapid Eye Movement minutes (REM), and light and deep sleep averages per night. The validated Menopause Health Questionnaire from the North American Menopause Society was used to characterize total number of menopausal symptoms. RESULTS: A one-way ANOVA revealed no significant difference between groups in GS, RM or MA (p>0.05). POST had less REM sleep than PRE [mean difference (MD) ± standard error: -14.82 ± 6.07 min; p=0.052]. PERI had more light (MD: 29.21± 9.79 min; p=0.012) and less deep sleep (MD:-10.19 ± 4.20 min; p=0.054) than PRE. PERI experienced more hot flashes (MD: 0.75 ± 0.18; p=0.001), night sweats (MD: 0.92 ± 0.21; p=0.001), and tiredness (MD: 0.63 ± 0.22; p=0.020) than PRE. PERI experienced a greater total number of menopausal symptoms (MD: 6.58 ± 1.51; p=0.001) than PRE. GS was significantly positively related to total number of symptoms (R=0.323, p=0.006). There was no significant correlation between REM, light, deep, or MA and total number of symptoms. CONCLUSION: Perimenopausal women may experience more sleep disruptive menopausal symptoms that contribute to poor sleep quality. Targeting sleep remediation for perimenopause may be important for improving their health and quality of life.

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