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Higher severity of vasomotor symptoms was associated with greater sleep disturbance, worse quality of sleep, more sleep-related impairment, and disturbances in work productivity and daytime activities in a new study.

Vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women frequently lead to sleep disturbances and impairment of daytime activities. The new-onset sleep disturbances and daytime hot flashes are related to impaired work productivity, concentration, poor quality of sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness. 

This study conducted an online survey to identify the association between the severity of vasomotor symptoms and perceived sleep quality, which was the primary outcome. The secondary outcomes included work productivity and the severity of symptoms. The findings are published in the journal Menopause.

Study Characteristics

A total of 619 women completed the online survey. The severity of vasomotor symptoms was mild, moderate, and severe in 88, 266, and 265 study participants, respectively. The mean age of the participants was 53 ± 5.6 years. The majority of the population was White and in the postmenopausal stage.

Association of Vasomotor Symptoms With Work Productivity and Sleep

Among the women in the study sample, 90.8% reported adverse impacts of vasomotor symptoms on their sleep. The majority (83.1%) of these women also reported that this sleep disturbance was associated with impaired work productivity.

Association of Severity of Vasomotor Symptoms With Sleep Outcomes

Compared to the general population, postmenopausal women with vasomotor symptoms had greater sleep disturbances, which correlated with the severity of the symptoms. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score was significantly associated with the number of severe episodes of vasomotor symptoms at night.

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Association of Severity of Vasomotor Symptoms With Work Productivity

The Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire results indicated the association of severity of vasomotor symptoms with impairment at work, overall work impairment, and impairment related to general activities. Compared to mild symptoms, severe vasomotor symptoms were associated with more absenteeism. Impairment in general activity in postmenopausal women was significantly associated with the number of severe daytime vasomotor symptom episodes.


DePree, B., Shiozawa, A., King, D., Schild, A. L., Zhou, M., Yang, H., & Mancuso, S. (2023). Association of menopausal vasomotor symptom severity with sleep and work impairments: a US survey. Menopause, 30(9), 887–897. https://doi.org/10.1097/gme.0000000000002237