Association between hot flashes, sleep complaints, and psychological functioning among healthy menopausal women

  • Rebecca C. Thurston
  • James A. Blumenthal
  • Michael A. Babyak
  • Andrew Sherwood


Self-report data suggest that sleep hot flashes among menopausal women are associated with sleep problems and in turn impaired psychological functioning. However, few studies have examined these relations with physiologic hot flash measures. A total of 41 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women with daily hot flashes underwent nighttime sternal skin conductance monitoring to quantify hot flashes. Participants completed sleep diaries; the Sleep-Wake Experience List (van Diest, 1990); and depression, anxiety, and daily stress measures. Participants experienced a median of 2 physiologically monitored and 1 reported sleep hot flash nightly. Although sleep complaints were significantly and positively associated with psychological functioning, neither sleep complaints nor psychological functioning was significantly related to frequency of physiologically monitored sleep hot flashes. Conversely, results indicate an association between reported sleep hot flashes and acute sleep problems. The frequency of physiologically monitored sleep hot flashes, as opposed to reported sleep hot flashes, may be independent of problems with sleep and mood among menopausal women.

Key words

hot flashes menopause mood night sweats sleep vasomotor symptoms 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca C. Thurston
    • 1
  • James A. Blumenthal
    • 1
  • Michael A. Babyak
    • 1
  • Andrew Sherwood
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, DurhamDuke University Medical CenterPittsburghNorth Carolina

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