Sleep, that elusive luxury, can become even more elusive during menopause and perimenopause. Hormonal fluctuations, hot flushes, and mood swings can all contribute to a restless night. As part of Menopause Awareness Month, we delve into some strategies that may help you get that much-needed shut-eye.
Why Sleep Matters Even More Now
Lack of sleep doesn’t just leave you feeling tired; it can exacerbate other menopausal symptoms such as irritability and depression. It can also increase your risk of weight gain and chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.
Tips for Better Sleep
1. Keep a Routine: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Consistency helps regulate your body’s clock.
2. Cool Down: Hot flushes can disturb sleep, so keep your bedroom cool. Opt for breathable bedding and even consider a cooling pillow.
3. Limit Stimulants: Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime. While alcohol may make you feel sleepy initially, it interferes with the quality of your sleep.
4. Mindfulness and Relaxation: Simple mindfulness exercises or deep-breathing techniques can prepare your mind for sleep. You might also try aromatherapy with calming scents like lavender.
5. Get Moving, But Not Too Late: Exercise can promote better sleep, but try to finish any vigorous workouts at least a few hours before bed.
6. Consult Your GP: If sleep problems persist, it may be helpful to consult a healthcare provider for tailored advice, which may include hormone replacement therapy or sleep medications.
Sleep challenges during menopause and perimenopause are common but not insurmountable. Adjusting your habits and seeking professional advice can help you sleep better and improve your quality of life during this transition.
More sources of information here:
- NHS Menopause Guide: Provides a wealth of information on menopause, including tips on dealing with sleep issues. Visit NHS Menopause Guide
- The Sleep Council: A UK organisation offering advice on better sleep, with articles that touch on hormonal changes like menopause. Visit The Sleep Council
- Menopause Matters: An independent website providing up-to-date, accurate information about the menopause, symptoms, and treatments, including sleep issues. Visit Menopause Matters
- British Menopause Society: Offers various resources for healthcare professionals and patients to improve education around menopause. Visit British Menopause Society
- Nuffield Health: Provides blogs and articles around women’s health issues, including menopause and how it affects sleep. Visit Nuffield Health
- Women’s Health Concern: This is the patient arm of the British Menopause Society, offering a range of articles and advice on menopausal symptoms, including sleep. Visit Women’s Health Concern