Menopause has a number of symptoms ranging from hot flashes to allergies, and all of them combined can cause yet another problem: sleeping disorders. A disrupted sleep pattern and lack of sleep can lead to a whole host of other problems like stress, weight gain, and irritability.
In fact, between the stages of menopause and postmenopause, the insomnia rate among women rises to nearly 40%. The good news is there are solutions for sufferers who do not want to surrender to prescription drugs.
Get Regular Exercise
This should not be done right before you try to sleep, as your body should energized when you should be winding down. You don't want to waste all those endorphins and adrenaline sleeping anyway.
Find Your Routine
Not only will setting a regular bedtime help your sleeping habits, but making a habit of eating your meals, exercising, and taking medication at the same time every day will help your body set its internal clock.
Don't Take a Nap
This can be difficult if you're exhausted from a lack of sleep, but powering though you day means you will be tired when it's bedtime. If you find it very difficult to stay awake throughout the day try lying down for no longer than 20 minutes between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m.
Caffeinated drinks should be avoided, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. Teas, coffee and carbonated beverages can all disrupt sleep patterns, and cutting out these drinks can provide a simple way to help combat sleeping problems. Instead, switch to fizzy water and decaff tea and coffee.
Watch What You Eat
Of course being a stable and normal weight promotes overall wellness, and therefore better sleep. As well as high-fat and high-sugar foods which can cause weight gain, avoiding spicy foods may also help you settle into sleep more easily.
Inhale for three deep breaths and exhale slowly. Concentrating on your breathing also focuses the mind, and can help you switch off from pressures and anxieties of the day. This should help you feel more relaxed and ready for bed.
Wear Loose Fitting Pajamas
Tight-fitting nightwear and that made from synthetic material can exacerbate menopausal night sweats, by raising blood temperature. This symptom can often cause sleeping problems.
Remove the Television From the Bedroom
Studies show that watching T.V. can decrease your body's production of melatonin, a chemical that regulates sleep. You don't have to quit television completely, just limit your amount and don't fall asleep watching.
Relax Before Bedtime
Instead of doing last household chores, take time to unwind and de-stress before bed time by reading, visualizing, and taking some deep breaths. In fact, meditation has shown to reduce insomnia and other menopausal symptoms.
Drink Chamomile Tea
Chamomile a traditional medicine, it is used for cosmetic, and nutritional benefits.Also, Chamomile is a natural sleep-inducer.
If you don't see any improvements over time with lifestyle changes alone, it may be time to consult a professional about adding an herbal supplement to your regimen. Prescription sleep aids should be treated as a last option. Click on the following link to learn more about sleep disorders treatments.
- Advances in Integrative Medicine. (2020). Meditation as an approach to lessen menopausal symptoms and insomnia in working women undergoing the menopausal transition period: A randomized controlled trial. Retrieved October 6, 2020 from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2212958820301567
- Breus, Michael. "Menopause and Sleep". MedicineNet.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- National Institute of Health."Your Guide to Healthy Sleep". April 2006.
- Walsleben, Joyce M.D. "Ask the sleep expert: menopause and insomnia". National Sleep Foundation.