Introduction and objective: This study aims to report if hormone therapy modifies sleep architecture and dreams in menopausal women. Women with no hormone therapy for flushes usually present sleep deprivation and daily sleepiness as a result of nocturnal arousals. Estrogen and progesterone brain receptors can influence memory and cognition processes. Dreams modulators are cognition, socio-cultural factors, personality and brain physiology (REM/NREM percents, circadian influences).
Methods: 18 subjects, 53.5±3.3 yrs old, were recorded 2 nights, one without hormone therapy, second after conjugated estrogens 0.625 mg/day and didrogesteron 5 mg/day, 30 days. Polisomnographic recordings with Bio-Logic digital data acquisition system and Sleepscan II software were followed by sleep scoring in according with Rechtschaffen & Kales criteria. Quantitative dream content was analysed by Hall & van Castle system.
Results: There were significant decreasing values for sleep apnea indexes: total hypopneas (mean 10.24 vs. 2.25, P=0.047), hypopneas index (mean 1.77 vs. 0.37, P=0.052), apnea-hypopnea index (mean 2.68 vs. 0.65, P=0.055), apnea-hypopnea REM index (mean 6.65 vs. 1.12, P=0.039), apnea-hypopnea NREM index (mean 1.82 vs. 1.27, P=0.046), even all were included between normal values and the sleep efficiency and sleep architecture were not significantly modified. The percents of family and friends in dreams analysis codes are diminished after hormone therapy, with no sexual specific supplementary connotations. Dreams quantity are not related with REMS percent or with sleep cycles, both in treated and non treated menopausal women.
Conclusions: Hormone therapy improves sleep quality by reducing sleep fragmentation and it modifies dreams content as a reflection of the impact on brain physiology.
Local Ethical Committee approval has been obtained for this study and the included menopausal women had signed a written acceptance.
01 - 05 Apr 2006
European Society of Endocrinology