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menopause and sleep

Menopause brings on many changes, loss of sleep should not have to be one of them.

Many women experience insomnia at some point in their life. Stress, emotional changes and a growing family can all contribute to sleeplessness. But when menopause strikes–watch out! Sleeplessness is one of the leading symptoms of menopause.

As peri-menopause and menopause begin, a drop in estrogen is also likely causing a drop in serotonin, making it more difficult to sleep. Plus, more than 70% of women will experience hot flashes during menopause, which can also make it more difficult to sleep.

So how do you get a good nightʼs sleep while dealing with all the changes menopause can bring? Read on…

7 Natural Ways To Fight Menopausal Insomnia

  1. Limit Noise. Keep your room quiet. Noise from TV or radio may interrupt your sleep.
  2. Illuminate your room with a biologically-corrected light designed to eliminate Blue Light. Blue Light has been shown to cause insomnia by lessening the production of melatonin. This, along with decreasing serotonin might drastically affect your sleep patterns. Also, use a SleepShield on your iPad or tablet device, especially if you read in bed.
  3. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine, as all three have been shown to have an effect on not only sleep, but hot flashes.
  4. Turn the thermostat down a degree or two. Most people canʼt sleep in a hot room, but for those going through menopause, keeping your room a bit cooler can make the difference between sleeping or not.
  5. Invest in a Chillow. These water-cooled pillows or pillow covers have high user ratings and will keep you frosty all night.
  6. Take a warm – not hot – bath 30 minutes before bedtime. Taking a luke-warm bath will actually lower your body temperature, allowing you to get to sleep faster.
  7. Keep a regular schedule. It may seem like a no-brainer, and maybe you havenʼt had to set a bedtime since your kids were young, but keeping a regular schedule will help you fall asleep faster and sleep better.

Menopause is never easy. And lack of sleep can affect us on so many levels: performance at work, mood, even our peace of mind. Remember to treat yourself kindly during this transition. Give yourself permission to take the time to adjust to this new reality. With a little patience and (hopefully) enough sleep, youʼll be able to handle whatever menopause throws at you.

Image: צילום:ד”ר אבישי טייכר [CC-BY-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

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Sebrina Smith

Sebrina Zerkus Smith is a Southern Gal that has been scratching the writer’s itch for nearly 30 years. Her career began in Washington, D.C., in 1987, fresh out of collage and full of ideals. While plying her trade by day on congressional reps and senators, at night she burned the candle writing features for local newspapers and national magazines. She quickly realized that her southern upbringing gave her a unique and humorous voice that resonated with her readers. Eventually, she moved to Los Angeles where she pursued her dream of becoming a novelist and screenwriter. She paid her bills by working as a freelance writer for major marketing projects from studios such as CBS, NBC and Disney. Realizing that the future of writing lay with the internet, she was bitten by the blogging bug back in the 90’s, back before it was even called “blogging.” Then it was still just writing and trying to make a living. Through those early blogging years, Sebrina found passion and purpose. Over the past 10 years she has written articles for clients such as LightCues.com, MatterMore.com, Greenopolis, MacAddict, Yahoo, CNN and more. Today, Sebrina writes about a variety of topics including the Southern Experience, sustainability, clean water, food, gardening, sleep and her obsession with pugs. She is a regular paid contributor to WildOats.com as well as other entities. She now lives in Houston with her husband Jeff and their pug Newton. She hopes one day to complete her opus, Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed.