Clinical Edge

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Sleep Disturbance & Sexual Function in Menopause

Menopause; 2017 Jun; Kling, Manson, et al

In postmenopausal women, shorter sleep durations and insomnia were associated with decreased sexual function, a recent study found. Sexual function in the last year and sleep characteristics (past 4 weeks) were assessed by self-report at baseline for 93,668 women aged 50 to 79 years enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Observational Study. Cross-sectional associations between sleep measures and 2 indicators of sexual function—partnered sexual activity and sexual satisfaction within the last year—were examined. Researchers found:

  • 56% of women overall reported being somewhat or very satisfied with their current sexual activity; 52% reported partnered sexual activity within the last year.
  • Insomnia prevalence was 31%.
  • After multivariable adjustment, higher insomnia scores were associated with lower odds of sexual satisfaction (OR, 0.92).
  • Short sleep duration (≤5 hours) was associated with lower odds of partnered sexual activity (OR, 0.88) and less sexual satisfaction (OR, 0.88).


Kling JM, Manson JE, Naughton MJ, et al. Association of sleep disturbance and sexual function in postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2017;24(6):604-612. doi:10.1097/GME.0000000000000824.