This study aims to evaluate subjective sleep in premenopausal and postmenopausal women by assessing differences between workdays and leisure days.
Ninety-one regularly working women—of which 58 were premenopausal (aged 44-48 y) and 33 were postmenopausal (aged 53-58 y)—were recruited. A 14-day sleep diary was used to investigate total sleep time (TST), nocturnal sleep time (ST), sleep latency, and number of awakenings after workdays and leisure days.
TST (P = 0.002 during the 14-d period, P < 0.001 during workdays) and ST (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001) were shorter, and the number of awakenings (P = 0.033 and P = 0.043) during the entire 14-day period and after workdays was higher in postmenopausal women than in premenopausal women. No differences were observed during leisure days. Falling asleep took longer in postmenopausal women during the entire 14-day period (P = 0.011), during workdays (P = 0.040), and during leisure days (P = 0.010). After adjustment for the depression score, TST and ST during the 14-day period (P = 0.006 for TST, P = 0.004 for ST) and during workdays (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001) remained shorter in postmenopausal women.
Self-reported sleep problems are more common in postmenopausal women than in premenopausal women, and the difference is more pronounced during workdays than during leisure days. These observations suggest that postmenopausal women have the capacity for good sleep but are more vulnerable to sleep problems related to work-related stress.