Sleep. It can become like the Holy Grail, especially at the time of perimenopause and Menopause. I know that my sleep has altered over the last couple of years - dramatically. Not having sleep can make you feel so many negative effects.
As your body is going through so many hormonal changes, it can affect sleep patterns. When we don’t get enough sleep during menopause, our bodies can suffer in a few ways. For one thing, lack of sleep can exacerbate the hot flashes and night sweats that are already common during this stage of life. Sleep deprivation can also lead to mood swings, irritability and difficulty concentrating, which can all make it harder to cope with all the many other signs of perimenopause and menopause.
The effects of sleep deprivation, go beyond just the immediate symptoms. Lack of sleep has been linked to a number of long-term health problems, including an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. So, if you are going through perimenopause or menopause, it is so crucial to PRIORITISE sleep as part of your overall health and wellness plan.
Sadly, the cyclical effects of no sleep are so quickly evident.
‘I’ve had no sleep – so I’m too tired to exercise.’
‘I’ve had no sleep – so I can’t cook from scratch today, I’ll order a takeaway.’
‘I’ve had no sleep – so I feel gloomy, so I’ll cancel my meet up with my pal.’
Straight away, you are not taking exercise, eating rubbish and isolating yourself further.
But fear not!!! I’m here to offer you some sleep hacks that might just be what you needed to read today.
WALKING – or ANY form of exercise
Even if you do not feel like it, even if it is the last thing you feel like doing, remember we are changing our thinking here – we are PRIORITISING it.
Walking improves your cardiovascular and bone health. This is an aerobic activity, so if you walk at a half way decent pace, this is great for joints and good bone health. Book it in on your calendar. Three times a week at least. It will bring benefits to your mental health too, I call it ‘mental gardening or tidying’ – such a brilliant thing to do whilst you exercise. Exercise reduces inflammation and stimulates chemicals that affect the health of the existing braincells and the survival of new ones.
Magnesium bisglycinate is a type of magnesium that has been found to be particularly effective in helping menopausal women improve their sleep quality. We are experiencing a decrease in magnesium levels, which can contribute to our insomnia. Magnesium is an essential mineral. Taking it before bed can reduce anxiety and irritability and improve overall health. Additionally, magnesium health benefits include improving bone health, reducing inflammation, and supporting heart health. Make sure you get them from a reputable vitamin source and try to take more than 50% of your NRV in the tablet or tablets. PRIORITISE doing research and finding a good one.
Just like a new born baby – you need ‘triggers’ to get you to sleep. Warm baths, pillow spray, eye masks for darkness, earplugs to drown out snoring (your own or your partners!) and try and get off your phone at least 30 minutes before your head hits the pillow. PRIORITISE making this routine – make the change this very evening – write it down if needs be – but follow it for at least a week. See what an amazing difference little changes can make for the big win – 7-8 FULL HOURS of restful SLEEP!
Be kind to yourself today. PRIORITISE YOU.
PUT YOU FIRST, CHERISH YOU and Night Night – SLEEP TIGHT!
Angeline Davies is a qualified Health Coach Specialising in Perimenopause and Menopause.
Accredited By The PCI Royal College of General Practitioners.