Hot flashes may not cause sleep loss

Feb. 11, 2008 at 8:35 PM
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BOSTON, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Hot flashes may not be the reason women in midlife are not getting enough sleep, a U.S. health newsletter suggests.

The Harvard Women's Health Watch reports that a study shows that even under the controlled conditions in sleep laboratories, the connection between hot flashes and sleep disruption was not clearly shown.

The sleep laboratories study looked at 102 women who reported having trouble sleeping. The researchers found that 53 percent had a primary sleep disorder. Among the entire group, 56 percent had measurable hot flashes.

The newsletter points out the study was small and may not be representative of all menopausal women with sleep complaints. However, the finding that half the women had primary sleep disorders, not just hot flashes, bears further investigation, the newsletter says.

"To assume sleep problems are the result of hot flashes may do nothing to resolve what may be a serious underlying sleep disorder," the researchers say.

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