Six Ways to Beat Menopausal Insomnia
Martin Reed | Nov 24th 2015
Menopause brings many different changes to your life - from hot flashes and sweating, to changes in your skin and hair, bones, mood, and more. Adding insomnia into the mix isn’t fun. To overcome the challenges of insomnia with menopause, try these lifestyle changes and strategies.
Get more exercise
Getting more exercise is a great way to combat insomnia during menopause. Increasing you aerobic activity to four times a week can go far in helping you sleep better. Keep in mind that exercise should not be done in the hours leading up to bedtime, as this may keep you awake.
Avoid caffiene and alcohol before bed
Most people know caffiene is a stimulant and can interfere with sleep, but what some don’t know is that it can also trigger hot flashes and sweats in menopausal women. Caffiene can also interfere with late stages of sleep, which can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. Beginning in the late afternoon, avoid food and drinks that contain caffiene, and avoid alcohol prior to bedtime.
When you are dealing with menopause, you generally feel warm. This can make sleep hard to achieve. To ward off night sweats and hot flashes, keep the temperature in your sleeping environment low. Take a cool shower before bed, and wear light and breathable sleepwear. Lastly, opt for cotton bedding over synthetic.
Menopause can bring about mood changes and increase feeling of stress. If anxiety is causing you to stay awake at night, do an activity that de-stresses and calms your body and mind. This may include yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, reading, listening to soothing sounds, keeping a journal, and other personalized things that bring about a feeling of peace and calm to you.
See a sleep specialist
If you are not finding relief for your menopause-related insomnia, ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a sleep specialist, or search for one online. Specialists are knowledgeable in all aspects of sleep, and work at acreddited sleep labs or in a private practice. These specialists can work with you to help get a handle on your menopausal sleep issues.
Consider hormone replacement therapy
If the symptoms of menopause are causing undue stress on your life, consider asking your doctor about hormone replacement therapy. This remains the standard treatment for menopause, and can go far in restoring sleep. However, not every female is a candidate for treatment. This may not be for you if you have a history of blood clots or are at risk for breast cancer.