Hot sweats, weight fluctuations, and mood swings are just some of the side effects of menopause, but the real struggle comes when sleep problems begin to happen.
The joys of menopause can affect women very differently, with many reporting it’s the lack of a good night’s sleep that is the most difficult to deal with.
While the experience can vary hugely, most females will find the menopausal transition begins between 45 and 55 and can last around seven years, with common symptoms being hot flushes, night sweats, and mood swings.
However, the struggle to get to sleep, and to actually stay asleep, is a common, but less spoken about issue when it comes to the menopause, leaving many women struggling with insomnia for the first time in their lives.
So how can you get a good night’s rest while dealing with the menopause?
A sleep expert reveals all.
Get into a routine
We all know how important a routine is to our daily lives and sleep habits so this becomes even more vital when you’re struggling to rest.
Top tips include going to bed and waking up at the same time each day and to try to avoid napping in the day – a hard task when the menopause can leave you feeling so exhausted.
Keep your room ventilated and cool
While many sleep experts will recommend an ideal room temperature of 16-18°C (60-65°F), sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley, on behalf of Piglet In Bed, explained: ‘It is not just the room temperature that is important for getting a good night’s sleep.
‘The temperature in your immediate sleeping environment, i.e. under the duvet, is equally important and should be close to a thermo-neutral temperature, approximately 29°C. However, you are just one big fleshy hot water bottle, so you will heat the space to this temperature just by being in bed.’
It’s also recommended to keep your bedroom window open at night, or to invest in a silent fan, to help regulate the airflow in the bedroom so you can enjoy a nice breeze on those particularly sweaty nights.
Try linen bed sheets
Linen is a popular material in the summer for a reason – it’s light and airy, and can help hot bodies keep nice and cool.
Nice and comfortable too, it will help you regulate your body temperature more efficiently than sleeping naked.
Blackout the room
Darkness can be essential for a good night’s sleep so it’s important to omit any light that could be disturbing you like an alarm clock screen or street lights.
Being in the dark promotes relaxation and stimulates the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep.
If black-out blinds aren’t an option, look for a good eye mask to help do just the trick.
Wear good pyjamas
Again, linen is your best option here as the breathable material is ideal for those tricky night sweats.
Linen will rapidly absorb sweat from the body, keeping your skin dry and cool and helping you, hopefully, stay asleep.
Drinking your two litres of water a day is important for many health reasons but especially when you’re sweating a lot and suffering from dryness, another symptom of menopause.
Of course, this should be drunk over the course of the day and not just before bed so you don’t end up needing the toilet all night.
It’s important to think about your sugary and caffeinated drink intake too as these can all harm a good night’s rest.
Dr Neil Stanley adds: ‘Caffeine is a stimulant, and different people have different sensitivities to its effects. For some people, even a small amount of caffeine early in the day is enough to cause problems falling asleep 10 to 12 hours later.’
Turn your phone off
It’s no shocker that endless scrolling on your phone before bed is a bad idea.
Your phone screen emits blue light which signals to your brain that it is still daytime, knocking your body clock out of sync and preventing you from being able to easily doze off.
Additionally, checking your phone before bed can induce symptoms of anxiety and keep you psychologically alert.
Try switching your phone for a good book before bed.
Speak to your doctor
If you’re really struggling with any symptoms of the menopause, then make sure you reach out for professional advice from your GP.
Credit: Original article published here.