How many hours did you sleep last night? Experts tell us that as adults, we need 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep per night to stay healthy, alert, and able to function effectively in our daily lives. Unfortunately for many women going through menopause, that amount of uninterrupted night’s rest is nothing more than a pipe dream!
Lack of sleep can leave you irritable, unable to focus on work or daily tasks. Over time, insomnia can lead to depression and a weakened immune system.
Although the inability to sleep well at night can be related to psychological problems such as anxiety, stress at work, family or partner concerns, and financial concerns, changes in hormone levels are often the main cause of insomnia in women during the menopausal years.
A drop in progesterone, which normally has a sleep-inducing effect, can mean you can’t fall asleep quickly or deeply, while a drop in estrogen levels can cause hot flashes and night sweats, waking you up multiple times in the night and interrupt your sleep. cycle.
How to get a good night’s sleep
Fortunately, there are ways you can relax your body and mind to induce sleep and get the rest you need.
- Natural and herbal remedies
Herbal remedies are a safe, natural, drug-free alternative treatment for menopausal symptoms and insomnia. Plant extracts such as Black Cohosh and Dong Quai have been shown to address the hormonal imbalance that causes insomnia, hot flashes, and headaches. night sweats. Melatonin, passion flower, and valerian root may be effective in helping you relax and promote restful sleep.
- relaxation techniques
Guided meditation and music therapy, whether in the form of CDs or downloadable MP3 files, can be extremely powerful in promoting deep relaxation and ultimately sleep.
The breathing techniques used in meditation are also calming and relaxing and help prepare you for sleep. Lie on your back and try to fully focus on your breathing, inhaling and exhaling. Whenever thoughts enter your mind (and they will), just calmly push them aside and return your focus to your breath. It takes a bit of practice, but it’s also a great technique for getting back to sleep if you wake up during the night.
Progressive muscle relaxation techniques focus on relaxing the body, which in turn relaxes the mind. Lie on your back and consciously relax each muscle, one by one, starting with your toes and slowly moving up through your ankles, knees, upper legs, thighs, abdomen, chest, etc. hands, arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, face, and head. It works so well that you’ll probably fall asleep before you reach your neck!
- read a good book
Something soothing and benign; no adventure novels, psychological thrillers or horror stories. A couple of paragraphs at bedtime can often be enough to lull you into sleep mode.
A simple yoga stretching and relaxation routine before bed can set you up for a relaxing night’s rest.
- Warm Bath or Shower, Scents
Try taking a warm, relaxing bath or shower about 15 minutes before bed. Scented candles or soaps can bring a sense of calm and relaxation to your nightly ablutions. Don’t forget to blow out the candles before going to bed!
Top 5 NO…
- Watch TV directly before bed (or while you’re in bed!).
- Work on the computer or surf the Internet for at least 2 hours before bed.
- Drink alcohol or caffeine for at least 4 hours before going to sleep.
- Eat large meals or snacks after 7:00 pm
- Reading stimulating or disturbing books in bed.
There is no single cure for insomnia. You have to find out what works for you. You can do this by trying some of the remedies and techniques mentioned here to see which ones really work for you. Keep a diary so you can see if certain activities, eating or drinking patterns correspond to your insomnia.
And if all else fails, get up and go to another room for 10 minutes before going back to bed. Sometimes it works!