Home / Blog May 09, 2024

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Does Menopause Make You Tired? (Yes! ... But Why?)

Women in their late 40s and early 50s typically report menopause-related “crushing” fatigue. In this blog, we discuss natural remedies to get rid of menopause tiredness and when to speak to a doctor about your energy levels during menopause.



Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone are the main cause of menopause fatigue.

Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and sleep aids can help you feel more energized.

If you feel depressed along with menopause fatigue, seek professional medical advice.

Did you know?
The average age of menopause in women is around 51 years; early menopause (before the age of 40) and late menopause (after 55) are less common!

Curious if menopause is leaving you feeling tired? The short answer is … yes. Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. Because of this, multiple changes occur in your body, especially with your hormones, leading to symptoms such as hot flashes and tiredness. How can you deal with these symptoms? Well, let’s first start by understanding what exactly menopause is!

What Exactly Is Menopause?

Menopause is the stage in a woman’s life when monthly menstrual periods stop. It usually happens in the late 40s or early 50s. During menopause, the ovaries produce fewer hormones like estrogen and progesterone, leading to changes in the menstrual cycle and eventually the cessation of periods. Women may experience multiple symptoms during this period, so let’s first look at how menopause can impact your energy levels!

Does Menopause Impact Your Energy Levels?

Yes. During menopause, the decline in estrogen and progesterone levels can affect your body’s energy regulation. For instance, estrogen plays a role in regulating metabolism and energy production, so its decline during menopause can lead to feelings of fatigue.

Menopause And Sleepiness

Symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and increased stress make it harder for you to fall asleep and stay relaxed throughout the night. This experience can lead to waking up feeling tired, despite a full 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Menopause-related exhaustion can manifest in various ways and may include:

  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
  • Decreased motivation or interest in activities
  • Feelings of weakness or lethargy
  • Increased irritability or mood swings 

In the next section, we take a closer look at why you experience these symptoms!

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Why Does Menopause Cause Fatigue?

Other than hormonal changes, which we have discussed, the following factors contribute to menopause fatigue

1. Increased Stress: The menopausal transition often matches up with other life changes, like increased stress, changes in work or family dynamics, or lifestyle adjustments. These factors can also add to the general feelings of fatigue.

2. Physical Changes: Menopause is associated with changes in muscle mass and distribution, which can affect overall physical strength and endurance.

3. Changes in metabolism: Most women may experience changes in metabolism during menopause, including more fatigue and weight gain, accompanied by a decrease in overall energy levels.

4. Mood Changes: Hormonal fluctuations can affect mood, leading to symptoms like irritability, anxiety, or depression, which may contribute to feeling tired as well.

5. Sleep Disturbances: Other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, can disrupt sleep, leading to fatigue during the day.

Next, let’s look at other common symptoms of menopause that can accompany the feelings of fatigue.

Signs And Symptoms Of Menopause

On top of fatigue, symptoms of menopause can vary widely among women. In fact, some women experience few or mild symptoms, while others find them more pronounced. However, common symptoms of menopause include:

1. Irregular Menstrual Cycles: Menstrual cycles may become irregular, and periods may be lighter or heavier than usual.

2. Hot Flashes and Night Sweats: Sudden, intense feelings of heat, often accompanied by sweating, can occur, especially at night.

3. Sleep Disturbances: Changes in sleep patterns, including difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, may occur.

4. Mood Swings: Hormonal fluctuations can lead to mood changes, including irritability, anxiety, or feelings of sadness.

5. Vaginal Dryness and Discomfort: Declining estrogen levels can result in vaginal dryness, itching, and discomfort during sexual intercourse.

6. Decreased Libido: Some women may experience a decrease in sexual desire or changes in sexual satisfaction.

7. Difficulty Concentrating: Some women report difficulties with memory or concentration during menopause, a condition known as “Menopause Brain Fog”.

8. Joint and Muscle Pain: Joint pain and muscle aches may be experienced by some women.

9. Changes in Skin and Hair: Changes in skin elasticity, dryness, and changes in hair texture also occur.

10. Urinary Changes: Changes in urinary frequency or urgency, as well as an increased risk of urinary tract infections, may occur.

These symptoms are mostly manageable with proper care and professional medical advice. So, in the next section, we discuss how you can go about managing menopause fatigue in particular.

How Should I Deal With Menopause Fatigue?

Here are things you can try to have higher energy levels during your menopause:

1. Regular Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity, such as walking, jogging, swimming, or yoga. Exercise can improve overall energy levels and mood. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days.

2. Healthy Diet: Consume a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar intake. Include foods with complex carbohydrates to provide sustained energy. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

3. Adequate Sleep: Prioritize good sleep hygiene to address any sleep disturbances associated with menopause. Create a comfortable sleep environment, maintain a consistent sleep schedule, and consider using blackout curtains or a sleep mask.

4. Sleep Aids: Weighted blankets, for instance, can be extremely helpful in dealing with symptoms of menopause. If hot flashes are keeping you awake at night, a breathable weighted blanket like our chunky-knit Tree Napper can help you sleep cooler. The TENCEL™ in our Tree Napper is naturally moisture-wicking and ensures proper airflow all night long so that you can wake up refreshed and ready for the day!

5. Stress Management: Practice stress-reducing techniques to manage the emotional aspects of menopause, which can contribute to fatigue. Explore relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness, or gentle yoga.

6. Limit Stimulants Before Bed: Reduce the intake of stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine in the hours leading up to bedtime. Stimulants can interfere with sleep quality. Opt for decaffeinated beverages in the evening and create a relaxing bedtime routine.

7. Mind-Body Practices: Explore mind-body practices like Tai Chi or Qigong, which can improve energy flow and balance. These practices combine gentle movements with mindfulness and may contribute to improved overall well-being.

8. Social Support: Maintain strong social connections to provide emotional support during this life transition. Share your experiences with trusted friends, family, or support groups. Social interactions can positively impact mood and provide a sense of understanding and camaraderie.

9. Regular Check-ups: Schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor overall health and discuss menopausal symptoms.

In the next section, we look at some foods you can incorporate into your diet to maintain higher energy levels before, during, and after menopause.

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What Are Energy-Boosting Foods For Menopausal Women?

Here are some nutrient-rich foods that can help you deal with menopause-induced exhaustion:

1. Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are rich in iron, which helps transport oxygen throughout the body and combat fatigue.

2. Lean proteins: Foods like chicken, turkey, fish, tofu, and legumes provide high-quality protein, which is essential for maintaining muscle mass and sustaining energy levels.

3. Complex carbohydrates: Opt for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats, and whole wheat bread, which release energy slowly and provide a steady source of fuel for the body.

4. Healthy fats: Incorporate sources of healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil into your diet. These fats provide long-lasting energy and support hormone production.

5. Fruits: Berries, bananas, apples, and oranges are rich in vitamins, minerals, and natural sugars that can help boost energy levels and fight fatigue.

6. Fatty fish: Salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve mood, reduce inflammation, and increase energy levels.

7. Low-fat dairy: Greek yogurt, low-fat milk, and cheese are excellent sources of calcium and protein, which are important for bone health and muscle function.

8. Water-rich foods: Stay hydrated by consuming water-rich foods like cucumbers, watermelon, and celery, which can help prevent dehydration and maintain energy levels.

9. Green tea: Swap out sugary drinks for green tea, which contains caffeine and antioxidants that can boost energy and improve mental alertness.

10. Dark chocolate: Enjoying a small piece of dark chocolate can provide a quick energy boost thanks to its natural caffeine content and mood-enhancing properties.

In addition to incorporating these energy-boosting foods into their diet, some women have considered supplementing with vitamins, especially right before they begin menopause. In the next section, we discuss what options are available!

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Which Vitamins Are Best For Perimenopause Fatigue?

Here are some vitamin supplements often recommended for managing fatigue during perimenopause:

1. Vitamin D: Many people, especially those in northern climates or who spend little time outdoors, are deficient in vitamin D. This vitamin is crucial for bone health, immune function, and mood regulation. Adequate levels of vitamin D may also help reduce fatigue before, during, and post menopause.

2. Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in energy metabolism, and deficiency can lead to fatigue and weakness. As we age, our bodies may have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 from food, so supplementation may be necessary.

3. Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which play a role in mood regulation. Some research reported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that vitamin B6 supplementation may help alleviate symptoms of fatigue and depression.

4. Iron: Iron deficiency is common in women, especially during perimenopause due to heavy menstrual bleeding or decreased absorption. Low iron levels can lead to fatigue and weakness. If you suspect iron deficiency, it’s essential to have your levels checked by a healthcare provider before starting supplementation.

5. Magnesium: Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including energy production and muscle function. Some studies reported by the NIH suggest that magnesium supplementation may help reduce fatigue and improve sleep quality.

6. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): CoQ10 is a compound that plays a crucial role in cellular energy production. Some research suggests that CoQ10 supplementation may help reduce fatigue and improve energy levels, especially in individuals with low levels of CoQ10.

7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon and in fish oil supplements, have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce symptoms of fatigue and depression.

8. Adaptogens: While not vitamins, adaptogenic herbs like rhodiola, ashwagandha, and ginseng are often recommended for managing stress and fatigue. These herbs may help the body adapt to stress and support overall energy levels.

Individual needs vary, and always ensure to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications. Additionally, focusing on a balanced diet rich in whole foods can provide many of the vitamins and minerals needed to support energy levels during perimenopause or even post menopause.

Next, let’s discuss what signs you need to look for to share during your regular check-ups or your very first menopause-related visit to the doctor’s office.

When To See A Doctor

Here are several situations in which you should consider seeking medical advice:

1. Persistent or Severe Fatigue: If fatigue is persistent, severe, or worsening over time, consult with a healthcare professional. This could be indicative of other health concerns that need to be addressed.

2. Disrupted Sleep Patterns: If menopause-related sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or disrupted sleep, contribute to your fatigue, discussing these issues with a doctor can help identify strategies to improve sleep quality.

3. Impact on Daily Functioning: If fatigue is significantly affecting your ability to perform daily activities, work, or engage in social and recreational activities, it warrants medical attention.

4. Emotional Well-being: If fatigue is accompanied by mood changes, anxiety, or symptoms of depression, it’s crucial to discuss these aspects with a healthcare provider.

5. Other Unexplained Symptoms: If you experience other unexplained symptoms along with fatigue, such as unexplained weight loss, pain, or changes in bowel habits, it’s vital to seek medical evaluation.

6. Concerns About Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): If you are considering or already using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to manage menopausal symptoms, discussing your fatigue with a healthcare provider is essential to ensure that your treatment plan is appropriate and effective.

7. Overall Health Assessment: Menopause is a life transition, and a healthcare provider can conduct a comprehensive assessment of your overall health, considering factors such as cardiovascular health, bone health, and mental well-being.


Menopause, which is marked by the ending of menstruation, comes with multiple symptoms. Fatigue is a common experience for many women going through menopause, but worry not — there are practical explanations behind this. Changes in your hormones, sleep disturbances, mood changes, and life adjustments could be behind the fatigue symptoms. To maintain higher energy levels, consider incorporating regular exercise, a balanced diet, stress management, and visiting your doctor for regular check-ups.