Poor sleep quality is a common woe among women navigating the challenges of perimenopause and postmenopause. In my opinion it's more annoying than a menopausal belly, and if you're experiencing it, you're not alone. In this blog, we'll explore why sleep becomes a top complaint for women over 40 and the mid-life habits that will improve it.
WHY IS POOR SLEEP A TOP COMPLAINT FOR WOMEN OVER 40? During the 8-10 years of perimenopause, estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate irregularly. Postmenopause sees a complete drop in these hormone levels, leading to symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and increased anxiety—culprits contributing to sleep disturbances. Additionally, as women age, melatonin production tends to decrease, making it challenging to fall asleep and maintain a deep, restorative sleep throughout the night.
SIGNS YOUR SLEEP QUALITY NEEDS IMPROVEMENT:
Persistent Fatigue: Waking up tired and dragging throughout the day.
Poor Food Choices: Reaching for sugary or caffeinated snacks due to inadequate sleep.
Difficulty Falling Asleep: Struggling to drift off within 20-30 minutes of lying down.
Frequent Wake-Ups: Waking up multiple times during the night.
Mood Swings or Irritability: Increased irritability or mood swings linked to inadequate sleep.
Lack of Focus and Concentration: Trouble concentrating or staying focused.
Physical Discomfort: Persistent headaches, muscle tension, or other physical discomforts.
If any of these signs sound familiar, it's your "wake-up" call to start practicing better sleep habits. Let's learn how to sleep better in menopause - no matter where you are on your journey.
MID-LIFE SLEEP HABITS FOR QUALITY SLEEP: Now, let's dive into actionable steps to transform your sleep naturally during midlife. These habits, much like mid-life nutrition and exercise changes, require practice. Convert them into consistent habits, aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Light and the Circadian Rhythm: Prioritize natural light exposure in the morning, setting your circadian rhythm. In the evening, opt for dimmer lights only from lamps to signal winding down.
Timing Matters: Cut off caffeine after 2 p.m. and refrain from eating three hours before bedtime, ideally around 7 p.m.
Prepare for Sleep by 9 p.m.: Induce sleepiness with magnesium, whether through a hot bath with Epsom salts or a supplement.
Dress Light for Bed: Opt for light pajamas or nightwear to prevent overheating during sleep. If you're experiencing night sweats even with little clothes, this is something that worked for me.
Technology Detox: Stop using electronic devices before bedtime, or use blue-blocking glasses to minimize the impact of blue light.
Create a Sleep-Inducing Environment: Keep your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet. Your room temperature should be between 60 and 67 degrees. Also, consider using a satin eye mask and lavender essential oil for a calm atmosphere.
Mindful Relaxation: Anxiety can wake you up with a racing mind right around 3 AM. Combat anxiety with techniques like brain dump journaling, gratitude reflection, and 4-7-8 deep breathing methods after you've gotten into bed.
Remember, studies show that going to sleep by 10 p.m. leads to deeper and more quality sleep. For a detailed guide and additional resources, watch my YouTube video titled 'How to Sleep During Menopause.' Subscribe, like, and embark on your journey to restful sleep!
To explore the resources mentioned, visit my Sleep and Stress list in my Amazon store here.
Let's get FIRED UPP,