Before you take hormonal replacement drugs or other prescription medications, try the natural way to a good night’s sleep during menopause. Symptoms that can occur include uncomfortable hot flashes, insomnia, mood disorders and sleep apnea. Sleep problems can also lead to depression and anxiety, which exacerbates the problem. Certain lifestyle changes may reduce hot flashes and alleviate insomnia for a better night’s sleep.
Menopause and Exercise Scientific findings differ on whether aerobic exercise reduces hot flashes, but it does seem to have a positive effect on sleep quality, depression and insomnia. Some women may experience fewer hot flashes at night, or at least reduced sleep disturbance for other reasons. Do not do any rigorous exercise within a few hours of bedtime.
A Well-Balanced Diet for A Good Night’s Sleep During MenopauseFor reducing hot flashes and improving sleep, it is recommended that you eat a well-balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables. Avoid fatty meats, sugar, refined carbohydrates, spicy foods and hot temperature foods (like soup) if you’re having hot flashes.
Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol and Cigarette Smoke If you can’t give up caffeinated beverages, at least restrict them to earlier in the day, as caffeine can be a “trigger” for hot flashes. Stimulant effects can last up to 8 hours. Drinking alcohol shortly before going to bed can be another hot flash trigger, as can cigarette smoke.
Relaxation Techniques for Better Quality Sleep Engaging in a relaxation technique before bedtime can help to reduce stress, which is a major trigger for hot flashes. Try some gentle yoga, meditation or deep breathing exercises. Being relaxed also keeps you from worrying about not sleeping, which can make your insomnia even worse!
Sleeping On ScheduleIt has been shown that a consistent sleep schedule leads to better quality sleep. This means you should wake up and go to sleep at the same times each day. It is advised that you don’t take a nap after 3 p.m., as this can interfere with your regular nighttime sleep pattern.
The Ideal Bedroom Creating an atmosphere that’s conducive to peaceful sleep is very important. Lower the room’s temperature so that you don’t overheat in the middle of the night. Purchase Cool-jams™ moisture-wicking sleepwear that pulls sweat away from your body and temperature regulating bedding. Together they keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night