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How to Create a Sleep Routine for Menopause

From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List

Menopause and sleep routineWhat can I do to fall asleep and stay asleep during menopause? I'm exhausted!

You’ve reached menopause and now you can’t get a good night’s sleep. Like most women, you likely run from sunup to sundown, and now you have to contend with menopause symptoms like hot flashes, brain fog, and mood swings. And no matter how tired you were during the day, every evening without fail, you fall into bed only to toss and turn for hours. When the clock strikes midnight, you know you should be asleep, but you aren’t.

Unfortunately, wanting and needing to be asleep doesn’t mean you’ll sleep. You are awake when you should be sleeping and yawing when you should be wide awake. You end up exhausted, snippy, and about to go insane.

So what can you do? For one, you need to create a sleep routine. All the chaos and activity in your daily life, along with all the changes that go along with menopause, can leave your clock confused and out of sync with the sun. Having a sleep routine will trigger your mind and body that it’s time to settle down and get some rest. It’s important to be consistent–whether it’s a workday or the weekend--so your mind and body automatically begin to switch to sleep mode when you begin your routine.

Set a regular sleep schedule.

It’s important to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. This gets your mind and body in a cycle that promotes a good night’s sleep.

Stop eating and drinking–unless it’s sleepy tea or warm milk–about 3 hours before bed.

Eating and drinking before bed can rev up your digestive system and keep you awake. You should especially avoid caffeine, alcohol, large meals, and spicy foods in the evenings.

Avoid stimulating activities.

Vigorous exercise, smoking, and electronic devices are all stimulating, so avoid them before bedtime. It’s best not to do any of these activities in your bedroom so your body connects your bedroom with relaxing. Intimacy is the exception to the rule.

Dim the lights.

Melatonin, the natural sleep chemical, is produced in response to darkness. So as you begin to prepare for bed, turn down the lights to signal your brain to crank out the melatonin.

Wind down.

If you are running right up until you crawl under the covers, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to sleep. Your brain will still be going full speed ahead, leaving you tossing and turning. To slow things down, about an hour before bedtime you should put away work and stressful tasks. Switch to a relaxing hobby, reading a book, or another activity that doesn't overstimulate your mind or body.

Get ready for bed at the same time, in the same order, every night.

At the same time every night, follow a consistent routine for getting ready for bed. Shower, put on your pj’s, brush your teeth, etc. in the same order every single night. This helps your mind and body know it’s time to go to sleep when you begin the routine.

Keep your room cool, comfy, and quiet.

If you are hot and uncomfortable, you’ll have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Try keeping your room on the cool side, wearing comfortable night clothes that breathe, and making sure your mattress and pillow are comfortable. Sounds and distractions can also disrupt sleep, so move out anything that’s noisy, use white noise, and have your partner get checked for sleep apnea if snoring is an issue.

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 - 07:08 PM


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