Discover the 5 proven strategies to conquer menopausal insomnia and sleep soundly every night

Discover the 5 proven strategies to conquer menopausal insomnia and sleep soundly every night
Discover the 5 proven strategies to conquer menopausal insomnia and sleep soundly every night

Hello lovely reader!

Let's talk about a topic that's close to my heart and, I suspect, yours too: sleep. Or, more accurately, the lack thereof.

Insomnia during midlife can feel like an unwelcome guest who just. won't. leave. So, before it gets to that stage, if you're AT that stage OR you just want to get savvy ahead of it being an issue, let's dive into what's really going on and how we can optimise our beauty sleep with five proven strategies.

Why Sleep Matters (Especially Now)
We all know sleep is crucial, right? But did you know that getting the optimal seven hours a night does wonders for your mental health, heart health and cognitive function? On the flip side, skimping on sleep or oversleeping can wreak havoc on your system. It's like trying to drive a car with a flat tyre - you're not going to get far, and you might do some serious damage along the way.

The Magic of Non-REM Sleep
When it comes to sleep, not all hours are created equal. The best kind of sleep is non-REM, specifically Stage 3. This deep sleep stage is when your brain, heart, and breathing slow down, and your body gets a real chance to recover. It's also prime dreaming time, which is like a mini vacation in a beautiful detox retreat for your brain.

Midlife and Menopause: A Perfect Storm
As we navigate our way through menopause, sleep disturbances become more common. Hot flushes, night sweats and those 3 a.m. "Why am I awake?" moments can turn restful nights into a distant memory. Studies show that anywhere from 28% to 63% of women experience these sleep woes during menopause! The struggle is real for a lot of us.

The Hormonal Rollercoaster
Declining levels of oestrogen and progesterone can wreak havoc on your sleep and as oestrogen levels drop, hot flushes and night sweats may occur, making it hard to stay asleep. You then wake up and reach for the caffeine to help pull you along until the afternoon slump when you repeat with another shot of the coffee.
Meanwhile, progesterone, which has a calming, sleep-inducing effect, also declines causing side affects that prevent us become restful. Then there's melatonin, our trusty sleep hormone, which naturally decreases with age.

It's like mother nature decided to throw a sleep-deprivation party just for us and now we have nowhere to turn. But please fear not, I am here to help and support you on your journey.

Discover the 5 proven strategies to conquer menopausal insomnia and sleep soundly every night

Five Proven Strategies to Conquer Menopausal Insomnia

  • Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Your bedroom should be your haven:
Keep it cool and dark: A comfortable temperature and minimal light help promote deep sleep.
Invest in comfort: Good bedding, a supportive mattress and even an eye-mask are key.
Ditch the screens: Avoid TV and phone use right before bed. Instead, wind down with a good book or some calming music. These little tweaks make a HUGE difference in the long run.

  • Establish a Consistent Sleep Routine

Routine is your best friend when it comes to sleep:
Stick to a schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
Limit naps: Keep them short and sweet if you really can't wait (30-40 minutes, tops) and try to nap in the early afternoon.
Create a bedtime ritual: Develop calming pre-sleep habits, like taking a warm bath, doing some light reading, or practising relaxation techniques. It signals to your body that it's time to wind down.

  • Mind Your Diet and Exercise

What you eat and how you move can significantly impact your sleep:
Eat smart: Avoid going to bed too hungry or too full. Try not to consume caffeine after midday so it has time to leave your system.
Limit alcohol: While a nightcap might make you drowsy and drift off easily, it can disrupt your sleep later in the night.

  • Soak Up Morning Sunlight

Harnessing the power of morning light can set you up for a great night's sleep:
Get outside early: Viewing sunlight within the first hours of waking (even through clouds) increases early-day cortisol release, prepping your body for sleep later. This morning cortisol spike also boosts your immune system, metabolism, and daytime focus.
Regulate your circadian clock: Morning sunlight helps manage your internal clock, influencing wakefulness, hunger, and body temperature.
Practical tips: On sunny mornings, spend 5-10 minutes outside. Exercise, walk, or have breakfast in the sunlight. On cloudy days, extend your time outside to 15-20 minutes. If it's dark when you wake, use bright indoor lights until you can get outside.

  • Embrace Coaching and Relaxation Techniques

Managing stress and anxiety can lead to better sleep:
Seek professional coaching: A coach can help you develop healthier sleep habits and address the thoughts and behaviours that are keeping you awake.
Practice relaxation techniques: Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation can help calm your mind and body before bed.

A Gentle Reminder
Remember, menopause is a natural stage of life, not a disorder. It's a time when your health needs shift and understanding these changes can help you make informed decisions. Prioritising good sleep is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. So let's count our blessings, not sheep, and strive for those dreamy, restful nights we all deserve.

Sweet dreams and restful nights, my friend. Until next time!