Sleep! One of the joys of life. Restful sleep is essential to being able to function well during the day. We all know the consequences of a bad night and trying to drag ourselves through the next day’s chores. This is something we must avoid.
During perimenopause, our ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone. This causes a series of symptoms that manifest themselves in different ways in each woman. One of these symptoms is insomnia.
Sleeping all night is unfortunately not that common for many people. Factors such as stress, poor food choices and general, disorderly lifestyle factors that aggravate insomnia.
Insomnia manifests itself in two ways: either you have a hard time falling asleep right away or you wake up after a few hours and have great difficulty falling asleep again.
Sleeping well, and at least 8 hours each night, had always been a lifelong priority of mine. So, insomnia has been for me, so far, one of the most annoying symptoms of this stage.
What can we do to ensure good sleep?
Here are some tips that have been very helpful for me:
Try eating dinner at least 3 hours before going to bed. Having a light stomach helps avoid problems like heartburn that interrupt your sleep. If it has been more than 3 hours and you are a little hungry before going to sleep, I recommend warm oat milk with a little cinnamon and honey.
Turn off electronics at least 2 hours before going to bed. The white/blue light from the devices tricks your body into thinking that it is still daylight, thus interfering with the pineal gland’s function of producing melatonin to induce sleep.
Create a pleasant routine for yourself each night. Start by lighting a candle, or lowering the intensity of the light in your room. Use aromatherapy and meditation or prayer time. Say “NO” emphatically to television series and news that only upset you more. One of the things that I love to do every night is treat myself to a rich facial massage with relaxing aromas.
A glass of red wine could relax you! But more than one can give your liver extra work while you sleep and this causes night hot flashes which can wake you up and make insomnia worse.
Leave your to-do list on your desk and forget about it. As you put your head on your pillow, think of nice things before you go to sleep and spend a few minutes practicing gratitude instead of stressing over the next day’s to-dos. According to psychologist Dr. Wayne Dyer, those 5 minutes before falling asleep set the tone for deep and restful sleep and communicate to your subconscious how you feel. Take advantage of them!
If you wake up at dawn frequently, keep a rich lavender oil on your bedside table. It will relax you in a few minutes and help you fall asleep again. As you inhale the oil, focus on the present moment, on the “here and now” and nothing else. You are in your comfortable bed, with your head lightly resting on your soft pillow. Inhale and exhale deeply until you relax. There is nothing more pleasant and important at that moment than giving yourself a few hours of deep rest.
And if none of that works?
If you’ve tried all this and still cannot sleep well, visit a specialist. They can help you solve it with a melatonin supplement or, depending on your case, an appropriate dose of hormone replacement therapy.
Give priority to your sleep, and organize your non-negotiable rest ritual every night. Little by little you will improve. You deserve it!
Ana Victoria Villar.
Lifestyle. Meditation. Mental Wellbeing. Perimenopause.