Sleep difficulties: due to menopause status, age, other factors, or all of the above?

The Tom et al study reveals that menopause status is imperfectly related to perceived sleep quality in women transitioning through to menopause. In the women classed by how bothersome they reported their sleep to be, menopause status (assumed HPO axis hormone changes) seemed to highly affect the odds of reporting sleep distress in a portion (one group and the smallest group). Perhaps, equivocal findings from other studies regarding menopausal transition status and perceived sleep quality stem from inadequate characterization of contributing factors and identification of clusters of factors as defining of subgroups. As I have editorially commented before, in the context of transition to menopause, multiple factors in varying configurations in different women are likely to be explanatory for what contributes to perceived sleep quality. Such factors will include a variety of psychosocial ones (eg, life strain, affectivity, social milieu, and family history) along with biological factors (eg, genetic propensity, anthropometrics, and hormonal fluctuations).

Shaver, Joan L.F. PhD, RN, FAAN
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.



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