Holistic Habits You Can Use To Improve Sleep During Menopause
The most commonly known symptoms of menopause include mood swings and hot flashes. However – other symptoms that are lesser known, such as insomnia, impact your quality of life just as much. In fact, insomnia can be more damaging than other, more common symptoms because sleep is an essential part of a healthy, balanced life.
As your hormone levels change with menopause, it can directly impact how much sleep you’re getting at night, and the quality of sleep as well. If you wake up often during the night, your body is less likely to fall into a deep sleep, when most of the healing functions of rest happen.
There are several options you can incorporate to lessen the impact of menopause symptoms. One of these options is HRT (hormone replacement therapy.) Although well within the standard of care, many women have concerns about HRT and prefer to use natural options. That being said, HRT is still the standard of care for most menopause conditions; it is very effective is used properly.
An alternative treatment for most menopausal symptoms, not just insomnia, may be found in consuming soy products (tofu, soybeans, and soymilk.) Soy products contain phytoestrogens, a plant-based hormone that is similar to estrogen. Other phytoestrogens are available as supplements, such as ginseng, red clover, and black cohosh.
And often as we age, our appetites decrease. The best way to efficiently absorb nutrients is naturally, through our diets – but with less food intake, you receive fewer vitamins and minerals. This loss of appetite combined with slower bone replacement – which happens naturally as you age – make supplements that specifically support bone health essential for avoiding fractures and maintaining your quality of life.
Try to not consume large meals or alcohol several hours before bed. Foods that are spicy or acidic may trigger hot flashes, which can keep you up later due to discomfort. Wear light pajamas to bed, and layer several light blankets on your bed instead of a single heavy one, so you can toss one of two away if you find you’re overheated. Remember that the optimal temperature for sleep is 65-67-degrees Fahrenheit.
Many menopausal women experience weight gain as their hormones fluctuate – and this can contribute to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea affects your breathing and therefore the quality of your sleep. If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea – waking often, snoring, etc., it is important to visit your doctor, who may order a sleep study as part of your treatment plan.
Reduce the overall amount of screentime you engage in on a daily basis, and try out blue light-blocking glasses. The blue light that computers, television, Kindles and phone screens generate can signal to the body that it shouldn’t start producing melatonin, your body’s natural sleeping hormone, and can interrupt your circadian rhythm. You can also supplement melatonin to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. Melatonin does not work for everyone, but everyone should limit the amount of blue light exposure to the eyes at night.
Deciding what treatments you should start to combat your menopause symptoms should be part of a conversation you have with your physician. Some supplements may interact negatively with certain medications you are taking or may not be ideal for someone with your medical history.
For more natural tips on relieving menopause and its symptoms, download our free Menopause Guide today!
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