Not sleeping well can leave you feeling frayed, irritable and unable to focus. How many nights have you spent tossing and turning? Waking up at 2 am and not able to get back to sleep? You’re not alone; it’s one of the most common symptoms at midlife – according to the Sleep Foundation – it can affect 61% of women.
A succession of sleepless nights can be severely debilitating, resulting in brain fog, fatigue and even anxiety. So, it’s important to address insomnia as soon as you can.
What is happening with your hormones?
Both oestrogen and progesterone levels decrease during menopause which can trigger many changes in your lifestyle, particularly in your sleeping habits. This is partly because progesterone is a sleep-producing hormone. While your body copes with these dwindling hormone levels, you may find it harder to fall asleep and more difficult to stay asleep.
What can trigger insomnia?
Common causes include night sweats, anxiety, and having to get up in the night to go to the bathroom. Poor or disturbed sleep can trigger many other symptoms, such as depression and irritability, so sleeping better may also help improve your mood.
How to get a better night’s sleep
- Try relaxation techniques, especially right before bed.
- Exercise regularly. It’s been shown to improve the quality of sleep.
- Have a cup of chamomile or valerian tea or warm soya milk before bed.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks altogether, as the caffeine can act as a stimulant and keep you awake. These include tea, coffee, cola drinks, and hot chocolate.
- Listen to soothing music. It can help you relax and sleep more soundly.
- Try not to take worries to bed with you. Jot down anything that’s bothering you to get it off your mind, and then consciously distance yourself from any troubles by focusing on something you find soothing.
- Avoid watching, reading, or listening to anything too stimulating in the evening, and avoid electronic screens (laptops, tablets, and smartphones) at least an hour before bed. Research shows that the blue light they emit can disrupt sleep.
- If you frequently wake during the night, taking the herb valerian can help you get back to sleep. If you find it hard to get to sleep, try taking valerian half an hour before you go to bed.
- Try the Pzizz Sleep app
If you want to find out more click here and check out my short video all about dealing with insomnia.
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