Of all the unwelcome symptoms of menopause, sleep disturbance is perhaps the most frustrating. Just when you should be winding down to enjoy a more settled pace of life, menopause insomnia strikes, leaving you fatigued, irritable and unable to make the most of your middle years. Approximately 60% of women report sleeplessness during menopause, but it is not something you have to simply accept and put up with. There are plenty of things you can try to improve your night’s sleep and ensure you are ready to face whatever challenges life throws at you the next day.
What causes insomnia during menopause?
A number of physical and psychological factors gang up during the menopause years to rob you of the rest and recovery time you need.
Hot flashes – A hot flash episode during the night can cause you to wake with a jolt and leave you feeling shaky, breathless and overheated – a million miles from the relaxed state of mind you need for good sleep.
Depression and anxiety- Fluctuating hormone levels during menopause can leave us feeling out of sorts emotionally as well as physically. Whether your depression and anxiety is caused by menopause or related to other factors, disruptions to mental health often go hand in hand with insomnia.
Medication – Many prescription medications list sleep disturbance as a possible side effect, particularly those containing artificial hormones.
What can I do about insomnia?
Your best treatment option depends on the cause of your sleepless nights. Here are some things to try to improve your chances of getting a good night’s rest.
Cut down on stimulants – These include tea, coffee, chocolate, alcohol and cigarettes. Don’t forget to check any medications you take regularly to see if sleeplessness is a listed side-effect.
Treat your menopause symptoms –If night sweats, anxiety or hot flushes are disrupting your sleep, make tackling these symptoms your priority. Curcuma comosa provides effective natural relief from the main symptoms of menopause, helping you re-establish a good sleeping pattern. Don’t just treat your symptoms internally, pay attention to external factors too. Keep your bedroom cool, wear light pajamas and practice deep breathing techniques whenever you feel yourself overheating.
Establish a nighttime routine- Bedtime routines aren’t just for kids, they work surprisingly well for adults too. Performing the same set of activities every night as we prepare for bed sends a message to our unconscious mind that it is time to wind down for sleep. Try to start the unwinding process at least two hours before you go to bed. Don’t eat within these two hours and try to avoid working, using a computer or watching television. Experts refer to these basic rituals before bed as ‘sleep hygiene.’
Get plenty of exercise – Studies have shown that people who take regular exercise during the day enjoy better sleep at night. Exercising outside is particularly beneficial because of the presence of vitamin D and natural light, both of which are thought to have a positive influence on our sleeping patterns.
Finally, try not to get frustrated if you can’t get to sleep. The occasional sleepless night is almost inevitable in every menopausal woman’s life, but one thing is clear: the more you worry about it, the less you will be able to sleep. Menopause insomnia is frustrating but with some healthy lifestyle habits and patience you can get the rest you need.