Disrupted sleep patterns

Many women sleep poorly during menopause, which can lead to fatigue and irritability. It makes sense that you get tired earlier or more quickly because your body is going through considerable change and this uses energy. But why is sleeping well during the menopause often difficult?

Why do you wake up more often during menopause?

During menopause, your hormonal balance changes. Your body produces less estrogen and that sets all sorts of changes in motion. One of these is that you are less able to fall asleep and that you may wake up more often. Night sweats may also wake you up regularly. Because of interrupted sleep, you may be tired and restless more often during the day.

Less energy?

If you sleep well but notice that you have less energy than you're used to, this may be to do with your metabolism. During menopause, your metabolic rate slows down, possibly causing you to feel fatigue more often during the day.

Tips for a good night's sleep

You can influence your quality of sleep considerably. The following tips can help:

  • Turn off all phones, screens, gadgets and computers at least one hour before going to sleep and leave all of these out of your bedroom. The blue-enriched light that most phones, laptops and screens emit has been proven to disrupt melatonin production and sleep.1
  • Aim for a healthy lifestyle: eat nutritiousfoods, exercise regularly (but not within three hours of going to sleep) and relax sufficiently.
  • Don't go to bed on a full stomach. Stop eating sugars and carbohydrates four hours before you go to sleep. These raise your blood sugar level and that prevents the production of melatonin, the hormone you need to fall asleep. If you want to eat something, then choose healthy fats or proteins. Consider raw nuts, for example, or olives, a piece of cheese or a boiled egg.
  • Don’t drink caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea or cola in the evening. Research shows that consuming caffeine late in the day disrupts sleep. According to the U.S. National Sleep Foundation, caffeine blocks sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increases adrenaline production.

Introduce a rhythm into your sleeping pattern: go to bed and get up at fixed times.

  • Bothered by night sweats? Then use bedclothes and nightclothes made of natural materials. These release body heat easily and they dry quickly.
  • Sleep in a cool and well-ventilated bedroom, on a comfortable mattress.
  • Meditation, deep breathing and relaxation exercises all help you fall asleep in a relaxed manner after a busy day. Allow yourself those few minutes before you get into bed.

References

1.Chelappa, S.L. et al Acute exposure to evening blue-enriched light impacts on human sleep

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