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Sleep patterns naturally change as we get older, but with the onset of hot flushes, night sweats, and weakened bladder control, you may find that you’re already experiencing less beneficial sleep than you did prior to becoming peri or menopausal.

Approximately 60% of menopausal women complain of disturbed sleep and this includes; difficulty falling asleep, waking due to symptoms or the need to visit the loo and rousing during the ‘witching hour’ (around 3am) when our brain function patterns change.

Some studies have shown HRT (progesterone) can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, without the side effects that accompany sleep aids and sleeping medication such as drowsiness and lethargy.

A simple rule to follow is:

The 10-3-2-1-0 rule

10 hours before bed: no caffeine

3 hours before bed: no more food or alcohol

2 hours before bed: no more work

1 hour before bed: no more devices or screen time

If you struggle to fall or stay asleep, here’s a few of my top tips to help

  • Practise meditation and mindfulness

  • Try breathing techniques

  • Avoid heavy meals, alcohol and caffeine before bed

  • Create a bedroom haven; keep your room calm, dark, tidy and relaxing

  • Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature, studies show around 20*C is ideal but you may prefer it cooler if you suffer with night sweats

  • Keep a window ajar to allow a flow of fresh air throughout the night

  • Remove all electrical devices such as phones and computers

  • Exercises daily and stay as active as possible during waking hours

  • Avoid anything that may increase adrenaline or stimulate you mentally prior to bed to avoid a busy head while attempting to sleep

  • Try reading a book before bed to relax and focus your mind

  • Use gentle, relaxing music or sounds to calm and focus your mind

  • Increase your natural sunlight exposure as this positively affects your brains natural time keeping clock (circadian rhythm)

  • Avoid napping during the day

  • Be consistent; keep to the same bed time each night and perform a relaxation routine such as bath, moisturise, settle, read, meditate for example

  • Try magnesium and potassium which relax muscles. Bananas are high in magnesium and potassium but also contain tryptophan which stimulates brain calming hormones. Cherry’s are also a great source of tryptophan, but they also contain melatonin which is a sleep inducing hormone secreted by the brain. You could also try a melatonin supplement

  • Try natural sleep aids, such as lavender

Don’t dismiss the idea that you may have a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders can be serious and impact on your daily existence. If problems persist, seek the advice of a specialist or GP




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