Menopause and sleep are often not too things you would see in the same sentence. The onset of menopause brings hot flushes, itchy skin and all manner of annoying symptoms, which can have a knock on effect for your sleeping patterns.
We have put together a list of handy hints and tips to help you get more out of your bed time routine, if you are having trouble catching those Zzz’s. There are many ways in which you can increase the length and quality of your sleep, by taking action, gently, whilst you are awake.
Here are a few that we think you may benefit from:
- Wear loose clothing, if any, to bed, and try if you can to wear natural breathable fibers
- Keep your room cool and well ventilated, either by leaving a small window ajar or by using a fan in your bedroom
- Avoid certain foods such as spicy foods that may cause sweating, especially before bed
- Maintain a regular bed time schedule to help get your body and brain in check and used to a regular bed time
- Exercise regularly, but not right before you are due to go to slepp
- Try to avoid naps during the day as this can stop you from sleeping well at night
- Try calming activities before bed such as reading or listening to soothing music, this will reduce your stress levels.
- Try not to use any electronic devices at least a couple of hours before you go to bed as this can often act as a stimulant and keep you awake
- Avoid caffeine, although a coffee with breakfast should be OK…
- Try having a warm (not hot!) bath before you go to bed to help you relax and ease stress
- Use a thinner blanket on your bed, or even a sheet instead if a blanket is too much, but you still want to feel covered and comfy.
- Your doctor can also recommend some prescription sleep remedies if you are finding it particularly difficult to sleep, and so if the above tips do not work, it may be worth making an appointment with your GP.
There are also some diet changes you can make to help you sleep. It is often recommended that you do not eat too late, so that your body can fully digest your dinner and not cause you discomfort whilst you are trying to sleep. You should also try to avoid foods with caffeine such as coffee or chocolate flavoured desserts, too close to bed time.
Some foods that may be good to try and encourage your brain to relax:
- Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan (an amino acid) which cause the body to release serotonin and melatonin, which improve your mood and help you relax. They also have their own natural source of melatonin, which may help you fall asleep faster, according to the University of Texas.
- Contrary to popular belief, eating cheese (or any dairy) before bed can actually help you sleep as Calcium helps the brain use tryptophan (also found in dairy) to make melatonin, which will help you sleep.
- Chamomile tea is associated with an increase in glycine, a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles and acts like a mild sedative. A cup of this before bed will help you sleep, according to researchers.
We hope that this will assist you in achieving a deeper, more relaxed night of sleep. You can look out for more tips for coping with menopause, especially skin care , here on our blog or on the Stratum C website, where you will also find more information on our moisturising skin care products especially designed for menopause.