What can you do to get a really good night’s sleep?
Before reaching for some sleeping pills, there are loads of things you can try.
If you get a lot of hot flashes or sweats during the night, sage can be really effective and very often works quickly.
Taking a magnesium supplement combined with beneficial herbs, such as MenoSupport Complex, with your evening meal can very often calm your nervous system.
Herbs such as valerian and hops can also help, and A.Vogel’s Deep Sleep remedy is useful when nervousness is causing sleep issues.
Careful what you eat for supper! Avoid foods high in sugar and carbohydrates because they can cause blood sugar levels to spike, which can dehydrate you and aggravate things. And always watch what you drink: avoid caffeine-laden drinks like coffee and tea, as well as soft drinks and alcohol, which will all keep you awake. Instead, try herbal teas such as Rooibos or chamomile, the latter being especially good for calming the nerves.
If you’re dehydrated, it’s really important to have a little water before going to bed. Ideally, just a shot glass of warm water is enough. That will do two things: it will keep you hydrated during the night, especially if you’re getting night sweats, and help with the irritated bladder issue I mentioned. That’s because being dehydrated makes your urine highly concentrated and acidic, which irritates your bladder and wakes you up. So having just a little drink of water before bed is oftentimes enough to avoid that particular problem.
A lot of people ask me why it has to be warm water. It’s simple: drinking cold water shocks your digestive system and prevents you from getting off to sleep.
Another really important thing is to keep electronics out of your bedroom. I’m always amazed at how some people watch TV in bed, switch off the TV and then wonder why they can’t fall asleep. Rather than relaxing you, electronic devices get your brain all wired up.
Try to develop a healthy bedtime routine. An hour before you think you’re ready for bed, switch the TV off and maybe put on some relaxing music. Whatever you do, do not start texting friends or surfing the web. Turn off all your electronics and pick up a good, relaxing book instead—no horror stories!
Also consider doing some relaxation exercises to get yourself in the right mindset for sleep. Some people find a nice warm bath with lavender oil to be really soothing. If you start worrying about things the moment you get into bed, lie on your back, hands by your sides, and take some really slow deep breaths. You’ll start to feel your muscles relaxing, and very often just doing this for five minutes will relax you enough to help you fall asleep.
Menopause and insomnia
We already know that a poor night’s sleep can have a huge impact on all different areas of your health.
It can affect your immune system, making you more prone to colds, infections and allergies. It can affect your emotional wellbeing too: if you don’t sleep well, you’re going to be cranky and miserable and maybe even feel depressed the next day.
It can cause fatigue, and we all know that menopause itself can drain us of our energy.
Compound that with poor sleep and it can very often feel that you’re running on empty for weeks, if not months. Insomnia can also affect your perception of pain, making it feel worse. That can be quite a problem, especially if your menopause symptoms include joint aches and pains.