You need to get a better sleep especially during the menopausal stage. Sleep is one of the things that we tend to take for granted until we don’t have it anymore. It’s also one of the lesser known symptoms of menopause. This is a surprise to most women in my community. Did you know? Lack of sleep is something you shouldn’t take lightly, so I’m sharing my 4-step solution to better sleep during menopause.
Though it might have been easy to sleep soundly in your 20’s and early 30’s, many women find that as their hormones begin to shift in their mid-30’s, and as a result nights become more restless. In fact, nearly half of all American women find it harder to get a good night’s sleep once they hit perimenopause and menopause.
That first big biological shift hits us in our 40’s when our ovaries begin to slow down the production of estrogen and progesterone. Though we don’t tend to make the association, the truth is that both of these hormones are associated closely with sleep.
Suddenly the simple act of falling asleep may start to seem like a major life achievement. This is compounded with the advent of hot flashes in the middle of the night, and once it all adds up, sleeping might become mission impossible. This is compounded with the advent of hot flashes in the middle of the night, and once it all adds up, sleeping might become mission impossible.
Solution to Better Sleep During Menopause: 4 Essential Steps
There are simple things that you can do to make sleep easier to come by in menopause, and the effects can be absolutely transformative.
One of the main causes of sleep issues in peri-menopausal women is a lower level of progesterone. Those low levels of progesterone can come from lots of different factors:
- higher level of estrogen which throw off the healthy ratio of estrogen and progesterone
- higher production of stress hormones which prevent proper production of progesterone
- lack of essential nutrients needed to manufacture progesterone
What’s the one common element here? Unbalanced hormonal levels in the body.
The most powerful approach to restoring your hormonal balance, and the best solution to better sleep during menopause is to take the right dietary approach. Here are some simple ways you can change your diet to improve your sleep:
- Reduce carbohydrates
- Reduce sugar intake
- Increase vegetables
- Increase fiber
- Add healthy fats like omega-3 intake
These simple steps that will promote the healthy metabolism of hormones and stabilize your sleep. You can read more details on the best dietary approach for better sleep in menopause right here.
2- Mastering your hot flashes
How many times have you found it easy to fall asleep quickly only to wake up overwhelmed by a hot flash and unable to fall back asleep for hours?
Hot flashes are huge surges of adrenaline that rip your body out of its sleep. The sweat and change in temperature that often accompany these flashes of heat can be incredibly disruptive to your sleep. The real challenge is that it might take some time for your adrenaline to recede and for sleep to come again.
When a hot flash occurs, it’s your body’s response to the release of stress hormones combined with the lower levels of estrogen that are a natural part of menopause. The key to regulating hot flashes is regulating the metabolism of stress hormones, a balancing act that will lead directly to lessening your symptoms.
Start off by nourishing your adrenal glands, then learn ways to reduce sources of stress. Check out this resource to learn more details about eliminating hot flashes .
3- Sleeping Hygiene
Since you’re more aware of the issues of sleep in menopause, you’re now faced with the importance of basic sleep hygiene.
What is sleep hygiene? Here are the basics:
- Consistent waking and sleeping times. A tight sleep structure is fundamental.
- Create a proper sleep environment
- Remove electronics – no phones or electronics as the blue light will prevent the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone)
You can also refer to my article on sleep here to get more tips of healthier sleep cycle.
Adding in supplements will really help to control your sleep more effectively and is an easy solution to better sleep during menopause.
PS: Note all supplements are also available in the Supplement Store accessible here.
First off, it’s important to eat foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Such as papaya, bell peppers, citrus, dark leafy greens) or you can also add a daily supplement – 1000 mg three times per day of Vitamin C has been shown to effectively raise progesterone in women who have a deficiency.
Another great place to start is with B vitamins, as they are in high demand in the metabolism of stress in the body, in addition to being a powerful methylator in the metabolism of hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Find a complete B-complex formula and take 3 times a day with food.
Herbal supplement have been have been studied and demonstrated to help manage your cortisol level and stress, reducing the load on your adrenals.
Well known for helping support adrenal balance, as well as energy levels and endurance
An adaptogenic herb that protects against stress-related fatigue and ultimate“burnout”, plus it increases mental clarity, supports the immune system and assists in balancing blood sugar regulation.
Known for its sedative action against insomnia, nervousness, and restlessness. This is perfect whenever you have a hard time falling asleep, as it shortens sleep latency and reduces nighttime waking. Drink one cup of tea as needed, or if you have a tincture, try 2-5 droppers full 2-3 x daily.
Used for insomnia caused by mental worry, overwork, or nervous exhaustion. Try one cup of tea three times a day, or if you have the tincture try 30-60 drops three times a day.
Lavender essential oil
A gentle strengthening tonic for the nervous system. Just place a few drops on your pillow before you go to bed. Or try spraying a mixture of lavender oil and water in your room.
Every women’s experience of menopause is slightly different. But the basic premise of the solution to better sleep during menopause is the same: take the time to listen to yourself, search for the root causes of your symptoms and implement gradual changes. Taking this approach will truly help you in the long term. More than jumping in to medications that will likely only mask the symptoms.
The approach this time is with compassion and an open heart then you will find better sleep in menopause. This is a process of self-exploration, and it can be a time for better self-care and a journey that can lead you to feeling your best!
Share your thoughts: Did you ever consider being able to manage your sleep with natural elements?