Insomnia? Get Your Snooze Back! - Ellen Dolgen

Insomnia? Get Your Snooze Back!

Here is some news about snooze that you shouldn’t miss. Insomnia can be a real problem for women going through menopause. My aerobic sleeping came to a crashing halt in perimenopause. I, suddenly, without any notice was not sleeping beauty!

Why does menopause affect a woman’s ability to catch her z’s? According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), it has to do with the hormonal changes — estrogen and progesterone — that occur during menopause.  If you are not sleeping, apparently you are in a big club! The NSF says most women complain of sleeplessness during perimenopause to post-menopause, with about 61% of post-menopausal women having issues with insomnia.

A study conducted in 2013 by scientists at the University of California San Francisco found a lack of sleep can put adults at risk for a variety of chronic health issues. And a report published in Harvard University’s Harvard Women’s Health Watch in 2006 says adults who sleep less than six hours a night can suffer from such issues as memory loss, poor cardiovascular health, irritability, and problems with their metabolism and weight.

If you want to get your snooze on, don’t despair. Here are 4 tips to help you get back in touch with Mr. Sandman:

Get Moving

To get a good night’s sleep, you may have to move your body more during the day. Menopausal women who had more leisure physical activity during the day reported rating their sleep as good. Those same women who did household physical activity during the day – like vacuuming and mopping – found they were sleeping through the night more.

Just Relax

While you are lathering yourself in your latest and greatest wrinkle reducing moisturizer, think about preparing yourself for sleep, too. Before you hit the sack try some tricks to help relax your body and get you in the sleeping mode. For example, do something calming like reading a book while sipping on some chamomile tea, enjoying a candlelight bath, or just closing your eyes and listening to some soft music. As it gets closer to sleep time, prepare your bedroom so there are no distractions — eliminate as much light and sound as possible, and definitely keep your bedroom a smart phone free zone!

Stay Cool

Hot flashes can be another reason why women in menopause have a hard time staying asleep. To help combat the heat, Cleveland Clinic suggests women subject to hot flashes be prepared by wearing loose-fitting clothing to bed and by making sure their sleeping area is well ventilated. BTW, cool it on the spicy foods before bed!

Consider Therapy

Nope, I’m not talking about the shrink type of therapy. I’m talking about hormone therapy (HT). Hormones matter!  An article published in Menopausal Medicine — the journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine — says that studies have found HT helped menopausal women with sleeping issues, and helped them get more productive sleep. If sleeplessness is a major issue for you, this is an option you may want to discuss with your menopause gynecologist. If you don’t have one, use my Menopause Specialist Directory to find one near you.

No need to walk around with your “Eyes Wide Shut” (no, Tom Cruise, not referring to you). If you use these simple tools, you can get your snooze back!

My motto: Suffering in silence is OUT!  Reaching out is IN!

Click here to download my free eBook, MENOPAUSE MONDAYS The Girlfriend’s Guide To Surviving and Thriving During Perimenopause and Menopause.

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10 thoughts on “Insomnia? Get Your Snooze Back!”

  1. I fall asleep in a heartbeat but wake up after 4-5 hours still needing more sleep but with a whirring brain. I have to admit to taking 0.25 of an Ativan–not even a full dose–but just enough to get my brain to shut off and keep me down a few more hours. I do this maybe 2-3 times a week and have for 2 years. Haven’t gotten addicted yet! I absolutely am afraid of sleeping meds and their bizarre side effects. Have no issues with the benzos, though.

    1. Hi Judy, I’m glad you conquered your sleep issues. If you search stress on my website, you’ll find the latest news and tips on how to manage it.

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