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Why do I feel tired and lack motivation during menopause?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

When estrogen levels change dramatically during menopause, the hormonal changes can lead to tiredness or lack of motivation. Occasional tiredness or difficulty concentrating are normal symptoms of menopause. However, if you are feeling tired so often that it is affecting your life at home or at work, talk to your doctor about possible solutions to improve your quality of life.

For most of us mortals, fatigue is just one of those realities of life. But if you are more tired and less than enthusiastic than normal, there’s probably something else at work. Fatigue can have both physical and mental roots. During menopause, frequent nighttime awakenings from hot flashes, night sweats, or having to urinate can keep you from getting a full, restful night’s sleep, or even 90 minutes of continuous sleep that is needed to get into the restorative form of sleep. Not to mention, you may be experiencing fatigue from comingling conditions like heart disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, or medication side effects. But one of the things docs worry about the most during menopause is depression. Depression can cause you to feel unmotivated and as tired as a bear about to hibernate. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms so you can figure out the best way to tackle them.

Dr. Afua Mintah, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

There are a number of reasons why you feel tired and lack motivation during menopause. You may feel tired because you are not sleeping the way you used to! A hallmark symptom of menopause is change to sleep pattern. Women have difficulty falling asleep, or experience night sweats that may interrupt sleep, leading to daytime fatigue. Some women who may be experiencing heavy or other abnormal menstruation during the perimenopausal transition are at risk of being anemic (having a low blood count). This can also cause fatigue. Finally, this time of life can be very difficult for some women and may coincide with other psychosocial stressors: confirmation of their own aging, loss of fertility, bothersome or unpredictable symptoms, grown children leaving home etc. This can contribute to mood disorders like depression leading women be fatigued, or lacking motivation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.