How To Sleep Well During Menopause

Vitality is an expression – it is energy in harmony and makes your day bright and easy.  You feel more purposeful; things tend to fall into place and it’s easy to organise yourself at work, or have those much-needed creative ideas for your own business

but what happens ​if you’re losing sleep over menopause?

Let’s face it, a good night’s sleep is a gift to appreciate. 

It’s only when you are sleep deprived that you realise what a treasure a good night’s sleep is.  I will never take sleep for granted again I can tell you!

How important is sleep, and how can you sleep better during menopause?

Apart from the odd anxious night and the obvious reasons for not sleeping well, such as eating too much too late or being excited about something that's happening in my life, I have always slept pretty well, but then perimenopause happened!

I found the constant hot flashes and night sweats completely disrupted my sleep. They woke me up several times a night. I was getting up about three times a night to go to the toilet, and then I couldn't get back to sleep and ended up lying awake for ages. It seemed like there was a pool of anxiety in my stomach and a restlessness in my limbs that just wouldn’t disappear.

It felt endless…

In the morning, of course I would wake up feeling dreadful, sluggish, foggy and sad. I was sure that if I could just get a good night’s sleep, I’d be able to handle anything else about menopause. 

It affected my performance at work and it was hard to concentrate on anything. I felt like my energy, my vitality and joy had been sapped right out of me. I knew I had to do something to help me to sleep better.  I had experienced sleeping pills when my dad died, I didn't like the way they made me feel, so I thought I would investigate some natural ways of getting some quality sleep,

How sleeplessness affects you

 The following points show just how the body reacts to sleeplessness

Sleeplessness can affect your weight

It negatively impacts the ability to manage your ideal weight.  Researchers have found a link between sleep deprivation, obesity and depression.  When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces too much Ghrelin – the gremlin of the munchies! Ghrelin is a hormone that is released in the stomach and stimulates your appetite. It increases your appetite for sweet sugary and fatty foods. Another hormone called Leptin is compromised through lack of sleep.  Leptin lets you know that you have eaten enough, it puts the breaks on your cravings to pick at food.  Metabolism can also slow down when you haven’t had enough sleep.

It can weaken your immune system

Proteins called cytokines are produced while you sleep.  Cytokines protect the body by fighting off infections and inflammation.

It can negatively affect the skin

It effects the elasticity of skin. Skin recovers from any daily abuse while you sleep.  A clinical trial conducted at the University Hospital’s Case Medical Centre in Cleveland, Ohio, found that skin recovery in people who slept well, was 30% higher than those who did not.  The body produces collagen while you sleep, so long term sleep deprivation can also lead to the skin prematurely aging.

As if perimenopausal symptoms weren't enough to deal with! We could add irritability, memory loss, procrastination, increased chance of accidents, anxiety and depression, to this list.  So, it's important to take action and to be more caring with yourself during menopause, because sleeplessness can complicate matters. The thing is there is something you can do – an action you can take.....

Tips for a better night’s sleep

Worrying about not getting enough sleep is counterproductive, but you can do something about it...

I shared my own experience and that I wanted a natural, holistic solution to this – so how did I turn it around?

Well, I was pretty disciplined - I knew I needed to be, and I made some well needed self-care choices – I took action and it worked!  Here are a few tips that helped me to sleep better. (I continue to sleep well most nights – when I stick with this)

  • I stopped eating carbs and sugar at night. I stopped drinking alcohol, caffeine or any food that caused me indigestion.  Now this may sound too strict, but any reduction will help.  I wanted to go all out because I felt that this kind of food and drink was messing my body about anyway. This is the reason why I feel that self-awareness is a powerful tool. It helps you to be honest and very observant about what supports you and what doesn't. Do you eat more than you really need? Do you eat because you feel bored or emotional? Do you drink coffee to give you energy because you are exhausted? What foods feel good? Which food do you feel disturbs your sleep? Which food is supposed to be bad for you but which actually feels pretty good in your body? Be curious and honest, your own scientific experiment.  Be inspired to eat foods that can help you to sleep, such as those high in alpha carotene (carrots and butternut squash) lauric acid, magnesium, manganese. See my blog ‘Is Sleeplessness Becoming a Nightmare?’ for more on this subject. 
  • Meditation and vibration voice/body work.  I’ll tell you about that in the next paragraph. An absolute Godsend!
  • I created a very self-nurturing bedtime routine. I started going to bed early, when my body naturally felt tired rather than watching TV and overriding that communication.  I began working with my body and not against it.  My bedtime routine begins in the morning by making sure I make my bed in a way that is inviting. My bedroom is a serene space (no TV or computers) I meditate, shower and just connect deeply with myself (consciously present while cleaning my teeth and applying body cream) lighting a lavender incense stick or oil diffuser  - sometimes I have a bath with a lavender and neroli essential oil blend.
  • I made sure that I was being more consciously present and being all of me during the day. I gave myself little cues to remember to come back to a connection with myself. I felt that how I lived during the day made a huge difference to how I slept at night.
  • A massage every now and again with my partner - the relaxing kind of course with relaxing essential oils,  but of course, making love is also a great way to finish the day, especially if it is an expression of love and joy.

Vocal meditation - a powerful relaxation exercise to fully surrender

meditation during menopause

I like to be in control – I don’t like to admit it but it’s true! I hate that feeling of overwhelm and uncertainty – it makes me feel insecure. However, trying to control life is absurd! Control doesn’t help you to sleep nor does it help you to cope with menopause for that matter.  What does work is surrender. 

Even meditation can be subject to control if you are thinking about how to sit, breathe and relax. It isn't conducive to real surrender, and surrender is a must for sleeping well. You have to abandon the control. Meditation needs to be a reconnection – a way to observe in minute detail what is going on in your body.  It should be a look within and an acceptance of the stillness therein.

I’m a singing teacher. I have been teaching students to control their breath for years.  However tension is the biggest murderer of vibration. Vibration feels beautiful in the body, but if you are concentrating on external muscles for control, you will never feel that beauty – your voice will always be compromised. This is one of the reasons that professional singers, sing worse live than they do relaxed in their own homes.

If you're curious about this method and you'd like to investigate what this feels like and how it can help you to sleep better, click the link below.  I’m giving away a free video that will show you how.  Get yours now and start enjoying a restful night, and a day full of vitality and joy just like me 🙂

Please click on the button below and get your free video lessons

These three lessons show you how to connect to your breath, your body and your voice. There are audio exercises so that you can practice this in bed too.

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