Menopause may be unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean you need to suffer through it. Menopause brings about many hormonal changes that result in various symptoms from hot flashes to insomnia. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, over 60% of menopausal women experience sleep problems. If you need help getting a full night of rest, check out the list below for tips to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Creating healthy exercise habits seems to have an endless list of health benefits and getting better sleep happens to be one of them. Not only does regular exercise reduce stress and anxiety, but developing a routine that you stick to also boosts the amount of time you spend in deep sleep— this is the part of your sleep cycle that helps you feel well rested. Exercise doesn’t have to be cardio either.
While cardio does expend energy, helping your body rest better at night, studies have also shown that mind-body exercises, such as yoga, can also work to calm the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you relax. Spending just a few minutes daily on mind-body exercises can also reduce cortisol levels, lower your blood pressure, and boost your mood.
Avoid Caffeine to Beat Menopause Insomnia
No matter how tired and sluggish you feel throughout the day from your poor night of sleep, do not consume an excessive amount of caffeine and avoid it come the afternoon. Consuming a lot of caffeine or consuming it later in the day can affect your ability to fall asleep at night, thus creating a vicious cycle of needing caffeine to battle sleepless nights.
Relax Before Bed
Sometimes your body needs help relaxing before bedtime. Not everyone enjoys bathing at night, but if you’re up for it, try taking a warm bath or shower an hour or two before bedtime. The warm water actually helps cool your core body temperature, allowing your body to get better quality sleep.
Looking for another way to relax before bed? Try calming down with a cup of chamomile tea or a glass of warm milk. Drinking chamomile tea is thought to help calm people down and induce sleepiness due to an abundantly present antioxidant, apigenin. This specific antioxidant binds to certain receptors in the brain that decreases anxiety and prompts sleepiness. A glass of warm milk includes tryptophan. This is a substance the body uses to produce serotonin. While your glass of milk doesn’t contain enough tryptophan to change your sleep, it may still help you relax and fall asleep.
Maintaining a regular bedtime will also help promote better quality sleep. While many people think bedtimes are only for kids, research has indicated adults also benefit from a routine bedtime. By routinely going to bed at the same time, research has shown adults receive a better quality sleep and are able to stay asleep for a longer duration.
Keep it Cool at Night
If you suffer from hot flashes that contribute to your insomnia, you’ll want to keep your room cool at night. If you don’t want to lower your AC or need to keep it cool even in the middle of a Pennsylvania winter, invest in a fan that you can keep on all night. It also helps to wear light, moisture-wicking clothing to bed.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Insomnia and hot flashes brought on by menopause are due to the decrease in estrogen and progesterone production in your body. To alleviate these symptoms, many women turn to hormone replacement therapy. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy specifically uses hormones made using plant-based sources that are biologically identical to what the human body produces. This allows your body to use them effectively with less side-effects than synthetic HRT. With your hormones returning to a balanced state, you’ll be able to get back on track with a full night of sleep.
If you’re interested in finding out if bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is right for you, Renewed Vitality, located in Wyomissing, PA, is here to help! We’ll evaluate your symptoms and help you decide what’s best for you. Contact us today!