Article by Staness Jonekos
Sleepness nights provoked by fluctuating hormones
We have all had sleepless nights, but for millions of post-menopausal women it happens 61 percent of the time, affecting their quality of life and their relationships thanks to irritating night sweats provoked by fluctuating hormones.
Empty nest syndrome, caring for aging parents, relationship changes, career adjustments and mid-life stress, bundled together with hormones in flux is a recipe for sleepless nights. Progesterone is our sleep-promoting hormone, so a decrease in this hormone contributes to a night of tossing and turning. Declining estrogen can make you more susceptible to stress, fueling this sleepless potion.
Insomnia during menopause clearly can affect the quality of your life. Women suffering from insomnia live with daily fatigue and irritability, and that can contribute to intimacy issues with her partner.
Sleeping tips during menopause
• Create a sleep schedule, and follow it each night
• Do not go to bed until you are tired
• Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol right before bed
• Enjoy decaf tea
• Do not watch the news right before going to bed
• Do not watch TV in bed
• Take a soothing bath or shower before bedtime
• Your bedroom should be a sleeping sanctuary and a place for lovemaking
• Avoid daytime naps
• Clear your mind before you get under the covers
• Make sure your room is dark
• Keep your bedroom cool to prevent night sweats, keep a fan nearby
• Wear cotton pajamas, and have an extra pair handy
• Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise should be done during the morning or afternoon.
• Yoga may help promote good sleep
• Try aromatherapy for relaxation
• Own a comfortable bed
• Wear socks to bed to help control core body temperature
Supplements such as botanical valerian have been found to improve sleep after two weeks of use. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits before taking over-the-counter products to treat insomnia. If depression is contributing to your sleep problems, your healthcare provider may prescribe an antidepressant or other prescription medications.
Getting a good night’s rest during menopause benefits your health, both physically and emotionally, and can contribute to a smoother transition.
Staness Jonekos is co-author of the Menopause Makeover