Insomnia during perimenopause

insomnia during perimenopause

Argh! I only slept 3 hours last night.

Insomnia is one of many symptoms that present during perimenopause and menopause.

Coming to terms with this and developing a strategy to deal with it is very important.

Personally it is my main symptom during peri-menopause currently. Periodically I get night sweats, and I’m sure my boyfriend would say I get moody, but the highest impacting symptom is not getting enough sleep, or a good night’s sleep!

Without sleep, every body system is affected. The immune system is compromised, cortisol levels rise (the stress hormone that adds belly fat), our nervous system gets sensitive and it gets harder to maintain a regular schedule of exercise. A cycle can easily start where lack of sleep leads to more insomnia.

The Perimenopause Connection

When progesterone and estrogen levels start to fluctuate during peri-menopause the body’s delicate chemistry is thrown off and sleep can become disturbed. Declining estrogen levels can set off occasional or isolated menopause-related symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings. These isolated instances can disturb your sleep and give you symptoms of temporary insomnia or become more chronic and create a cycle of insomnia.

How To Break the Insomnia Cycle

Some find using hormone replacement therapy helps. Personally I won’t use HRT and do not advocate it. Bio-identical hormones have helped many of my friends for periods of time but ultimately they all chose to reduce their use and go off them completely as it became very complicated to find the correct balance.

The most powerful way to deal with insomnia is through diet, supplementation and exercise. Stress reducing activities are included here.

Here are some of the most common ones that I’ve used effectively –

Reduce or stop caffeine consumption
Cut down on sugar
Drink hot chamomile tea

Supplements & Herbs:
Melatonin before bed or,
Magnesium before bed (I use the effervescent Natural Calm by Natural Vitality)
Homeopathic Calms Forte Remedy
Progesterone cream before bed if you have symptoms of estrogen/progesterone imbalance

Stress Reduction:
Deep Breathing exercises
Hot shower
Bath with magnesium salts
Vigorous workout or walk started no later than 5pm

Sleep ‘Hygiene’:

Bed by 10:30
Darken the room completely
No computer or electronic gadgets 3 hours prior to sleep (my hardest one!)
Unplug any electrical outlets near your head or bed
TV off at least 1 hour before sleep
No food or drink 3 hours prior to sleep
Read something benign before lights out

We all have to find what works for us. Observe and find out ways in which you are making it harder to relax and fall asleep. Keep a journal so you can see hormonal cycles that correspond to your insomnia. Try some of the supplements mentioned and see which ones really work for you.

And until you can remedy this and fall asleep,  at least know that there are plenty of other women sharing your state at that very moment!

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Dorothy provides tips and information for staying fit and happy naturally during perimenopause and beyond, using the T-Tapp workout and more.

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