In 2002, a large clinical trial found that hormone therapy posed more risks than benefits for postmenopausal women. The study found that women taking a combination of estrogen-progestin could have increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer, stroke, and abnormal mammograms. For women who took estrogen without progestin, there was no increased risk of breast cancer or heart disease.
Despite these risks, for some women the benefits of estrogen therapy outweigh the risks. These include women who experience premature menopause (before age 40) and who are suffering from osteoporosis.
Estrogen therapy helps reduce hot flashes, vaginal symptoms, and difficulty with urination. If these factors contribute to insomnia, you might want to talk to your doctor about trying a low-dose, short-term estrogen supplement. Many women start taking estrogen supplements just to get some sleep, because sleep deprivation can lead to a host of health problems.