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The study confirms association between shorter sleep durations, higher insomnia symptoms, and decreased sexual function in post-menopausal women. 

"Women and healthcare providers need to recognise the link between menopause symptoms and inadequate sleep and their effects on sexual satisfaction," said JoAnn Pinkerton, Executive Director, North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Analysing data for 93 668 women aged 50 to 79 years, the researchers found that short sleep duration – defined as fewer than seven to eight hours per night – was associated with lower odds of sexual satisfaction.

Of the participants, 56 percent reported being somewhat or very satisfied with their current sexual activity, and 52 percent reported partnered sexual activity within the last year.

Older women were less likely to be sexually active if they slept fewer than seven to eight hours per night compared with younger women, said the study published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.

In fact, women aged older than 70 years who slept fewer than five hours were 30 per cent less likely to be sexually active than women sleeping seven to eight hours.