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Subjective sleep in premenopausal and postmenopausal women during workdays and leisure days: a sleep diary study

Lampio, Laura MD1; Saaresranta, Tarja MD, PhD1,2; Polo, Olli MD, PhD1,3; Polo-Kantola, Päivi MD, PhD1,4

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31827ae954
Original Articles

Objective This study aims to evaluate subjective sleep in premenopausal and postmenopausal women by assessing differences between workdays and leisure days.

Methods 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.

Results 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.

Conclusions 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.

From the 1Sleep Research Unit, University of Turku, Turku, Finland; 2Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland; 3Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland; and 4Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.

Received April 29, 2012; revised and accepted October 3, 2012.

Funding/support: This study was supported by the Finnish Anti-Tuberculosis Association, Finnish Menopause Society, Finnish Sleep Research Society, Turku University Hospital (EVO grant), and Väinö and Laina Kivi Foundation.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: O.P. has served as lecturer for Leiras Pharmaceuticals, owner of the private research center Unesta. L.L.,T.S., and P.P.-K. report no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence to: Laura Lampio, MD, Sleep Research Unit, University of Turku, Lemminkäisenkatu 14-18 A, 5th Floor, Turku FIN-20520, Finland. E-mail:

© 2013 by The North American Menopause Society.