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8 Ways to Sleep During Menopause

From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List

Ways to sleep during menopauseHow can I get more sleep during menopause?

Hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. You know to expect those menopause symptoms. But did you know menopause can also rob you of your sleep, leaving you exhausted, irritable, and even depressed?

At a time when your body is undergoing so many changes that are causing a myriad of symptoms, it can be frustrating to find yourself tossing and turning, lying awake at 3 AM, and nodding off during the day. Besides leaving you feeling less than your best, the lack of sleep can then put you at risk for new health issues and decrease your ability to function.

So what can you do? Here are 8 tips for helping you get a good night’s sleep during menopause.

1. Make sure menopause is the problem.

There are lots of reasons you may not be sleeping well, so the first thing to do is make sure menopause is the culprit. Keeping a sleep diary can help you and your doctor decide if there are other health conditions or lifestyle issues which might be stealing your sleep. You may also need to be evaluate for sleep apnea.

2. Ask about HRT.

Both estrogen and progesterone play a role in letting women sleep, so during menopause you may need to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT)–especially if you have entered surgical menopause years earlier than natural menopause. In addition, hot flashes, depression, anxiety, and a host of other menopause symptoms can also keep you awake. Using HRT to manage your menopause symptoms and provide you with some hormones can help you get the sleep you need.

3. Create a bedtime routine.

It’s important that your mind and body know when it's time to go to bed. If you are racing around right up until you crawl under the covers, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to fall asleep. Instead, create a bedtime routine that let’s your mind and body know you are needing to head to the land of zzz’s. Wind down, turn off electronics and bright lights, and follow the same routine when preparing for bed.

4. Prepare your room.

The atmosphere of your bedroom can impact your ability to sleep. Turn down the temperature, remove distractions (TV, work, noise), dim the lights, and make sure your bed is comfortable. If necessary, use white noise, ear plugs, an eye mask, and darkening curtains to help minimize sleep disturbances.

5. Check your lifestyle.

Certain lifestyle choices can make it more difficult to sleep. Eating a large meal or spicy foods, indulging in alcohol or caffeine, and using stimulants before bed can all rob you of your sleep. Smoking at any time of the day can cause problems, too. If you don’t manage stress well, you can also find it hard to relax and get your rest.

6. Exercise, exercise, exercise.

Regular exercise is important for overall health. and it helps you sleep better at night, too. Something as simple as a daily walk can help you fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer. Since exercising can give you an initial burst of energy and increase your body temperature, avoid exercising a few hours before bedtime.

7. Avoid naps.

Although you may feel a quick nap will help you get through the day, it can keep you in a vicious cycle. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, avoid the temptation to take even a short nap, especially in the afternoon. Instead, drink a glass of water and do some quick exercises when you feel drowsy and exhausted during the day.

8. Get some sun each morning.

To help your internal clock know when it’s time to wake up and go to sleep, try to get some sunshine each morning and avoid bright lights in the evening. Exposure to sunlight, even through a window, helps synchronize your body to more normal sleeping patterns.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

02-19-2016 - 01:09 PM


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