Menopause Minute: menopause and sleep

Welcome to issue No. 2 |Menopause Minute.

I can’t begin to tell you how many nights I lay awake tossing and turning.

I’ve tried counting sheep, counting backwards, deep breathing, relaxation and reading.

I scroll through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and anything else I can think of hoping to bore myself to sleep.

With each strike of the hour I feel more and more frustratated.

Some nights I feel so irritated I’m tempted to kick my husband outta bed just for sleeping so well.

I’ve tried a wide array of pillows. Lavender oils and spray.

By 5am I usually just give up on sleep and power through the day.

But I miss my sleep.

And when I talk to to doctors about it (women, by the way), they just look at me and nod in agreement and say nothing.

This is troubling to me because menopause can render us vulnerable to major health issues like, heart disease. (We’ll cover this stuff more, later).

So, what’s the deal with menopause and sleep deprivation?

Hormones!

Hormones can and do wreak havoc on the mind and body.

When you’re having your “periods” you have PMS. And when you’re In menopause…you have PMS.

Same acronym, different reasons.

According to National Sleep Foundation during the course of peri-menopause through menopause, a woman’s ovaries gradually decrease production of estrogen and progesterone, a sleep-promoting hormone.

PeriMenopause is the menopause transition and it starts several years before. It’s the time when the ovaries begin to make less estrogen.

The shifting of ratios of hormones can be an unsettling process, sometimes contributing to the inability to fall asleep.

Also, waning levels of estrogen may make you more susceptible to environmental and other factors and stressors which disrupt sleep.

What can I do about it?

Let’s start with some curated simple tips to coping. I think the first on this list is the best place to start.

Exercise. One of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep is to get regular physical activity. But you may need to work out earlier in the day.

Too much activity close to bedtime can make you more awake. Even if you have not exercised regularly in the past, starting to exercise during menopause may help you feel better.

Train your brain. If you wake during the night and can’t get back to sleep, get up and do something relaxing until you’re sleepy again.

Eat healthy. Avoid large meals, especially before bedtime. Maintain a regular, normal weight. Some foods that are spicy or acidic may trigger hot flashes. Try foods rich in soy as they might minimize hot flashes.

Dress in lightweight clothes. Avoid heavy, insulating blankets and think clothes. Consider using a fan or air conditioning to cool the air and increase circulation.

Is you have some tips, I’d love to hear from you. If you like what you read here, please share it. And please, chime in via the comments.

End of article

Sources: National Sleep Foundation, women’s health dot gov


  • One thought on “Menopause Minute: menopause and sleep

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.