Insomnia and Menopause


One of the most annoying and perhaps detrimental side effects of menopause is insomnia. Forgoing night after night of sleep takes a toll on your well-being and ability to function. The good news is that although there are several factors at play that all gang up on your ability to get a good night’s sleep, there’s something you can do about it.

The main players when it comes to sleep deprivation include the lack of estrogen (which plays a critical part in setting your internal time table), hot flashes and night sweats, sleep apnea (which can be attributed to both weight gain and a lack of estrogen), depression or anxiety, and the overuse of stimulants used to combat fatigue. While this list may look a bit overwhelming, most of these symptoms can be alleviated fairly easily by using a few counter-measures.

First, cut out relying on things like caffeine and nicotine to keep you going. While it may be one of the toughest things you have ever tackled, cutting the ties between you and your coffee and cigarettes will have a lasting impact on your health both now and far beyond menopause. If you find that quitting these things altogether isn’t a reality yet, try to stop using them as early in the day as possible. This gives your body a chance to recover from the stimulant effects of these drugs well before you lie down for a good night’s sleep. And, by the way, this goes for chocolate, too.

Treating the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes or night sweats can be tricky. Before going to your doctor and joining the hormone replacement therapy group, try eating some soy with your meals. Soy contains phyoestrogens that closely mimic human estrogen and can alleviate your symptoms without causing serious side effects such as cancer. Another tactic is to turn down the thermostat in your home.

Keeping your bedroom dark will help your brain understand that its time to sleep.

Lastly, try meditation. Not only with these techniques help you relax and fall asleep, meditation will also help you learn how to deal with stress during your daily life as well. Meditation in combination with practicing a bedtime routine such as going to sleep and waking at certain times and refraining from eating at least two hours before bed will go a long way to reducing the amount of time you spend staring into the dark.

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