Introduction: This paper examines the various factors that contribute to the occurrence of sleep alterations during peri and post climacteric and thus produce significant imperil to women's quality of life. Among the probable causes of insomnia or sleep disorders associated to climacteric stand out the occurrence of vasomotor symptoms, depressive state and respiratory distress during sleep, such as sleep apnea, along with chronic pain, although psychosocial factors related to the climacteric bear major influence on such clinical status. Method: The bibliographic analysis was carried out using several electronic data base namely: Cochrane, Medline, Embase, Bni Plus, Biological Abstracts, Psycinfo, Web Of Science, Sigle, Dissertation Abstracts and ZETOC published in English, Spanish and Poruguese. The key terms used were: sleep, REM sleep, slow wave sleep polysomnography; electroencephalogram; sleep disturbances; disturbances of sleep onset and maintenance; excessive somnolence disturbances; climacteric; menopause; depression; neurobiology; biologic models; circadian rhythm; mental health and epidemiology. Case studies and letters to the editor were excluded. The summaries of the identified studies found in the data base were analyzed and assessed, and the data analyzed separately according to the subjective or objective criteria for data collection. Results: The climacteric transition constitutes a period of major risk for the development of depressive, vasomotor and insomnia symptoms although not caused solely by hypoestrogenism. The diagnostic methods used in the study of sleep disorders range from subjective assessment by means of response to specific questionnaires to the objective analysis of actigraphic or polissonographic daytime and nocturnal reports. Polissonographic studies of the whole night, performed at the laboratory, are the golden method of choice for diagnostic of sleep disorders. Studies point to the high prevalence of sleep disorders in the climacteric, especially insomnia, apnea and periodic movement of legs and also to the fact that this phase of life presents decrease in the quality of sleep. Women in peri and post climacteric show higher sleep latency and difficulty in its maintenance and refer being less satisfied with its quality even when compared to those who are not climacteric. Exception made to the vasomotor symptomatology, the other climacteric complaints such as mood disturbances, libido alterations, cognitive deficit, articular pain and sleep disorders are markedly associated to psychosocial factors, lifestyle and especially to women's perception of what the climacteric means to their lives. Conclusion: The analysis of the available studies revealed a proneness to deterioration of quality of life of climacteric women markedly in the sleep disturbances, depressed mood and anxiety domains and should not to be basically attributed to the climacteric. It is necessary that the professionals consider the need of assessment of such pathologies as complex phenomena and the literature lacks studies contemplating such dimensions.