The domino effect

Posted by on Oct 26, 2009 in emotions, hot flash, menopause, nightsweats, sleep disturbance | 2 comments


I’ve never heard of the term ‘Domino Effect’ being applied to menopause, although, if one thinks about it, it makes perfect sense. For example, hot flashes beget sleep disruptions beget mood swings, and so on and and so on.

But do they?

In a study published in Menopause Journal ahead-of-print,  55 women were asked to keep daily records of their symptoms for up to five years or until they fully entered menopause. whichever came first. The researchers then evaluated whether or not changes in hot flashes or night sweats would predict a change in sleep the very same day, and if these changes then predicted changes in moods the next day. They also factored in whether or not women were initially depressed to insure that any results they found would not be unduly influenced.

They found that daily hot flashes or night sweats accurately predicted same day sleep problems and disruptions, which in turn, worsened moods the next day. However, the researchers were unable to connect hot flashes and night sweats directly to shifts in mood without this interim step except for in women who were already mildly depressed.

Are you confused yet?

What this really shows is that while night flashes and hot sweats may affect overall mood swings during menopause, the reason is unlikely to be attributed directly to sleep disruption but rather to some other mechanism. In the long run, this may allow lead to better interventions that individually address these factors so that the sum of the parts becomes a more positive sense of well-being regardless of any physical disruptions.

Every action has a chain reaction. Hopefully, this finding will lead to something positive for us all.


  1. 10-26-2009

    Ahhh. This makes sense. Thanks for posting.

  2. 10-27-2009

    Mood swings? Are you talkin’ to me?
    (keep us posted!)

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