Menopause is a stage in every woman's life where the curtains fall on their ability to reproduce. During this stage, the reproductive hormones (progesterone and estrogen) cease from being produced by the ovaries.
Characterized by having an overwhelming feeling of warmth in the body (hot flashes), mood swings, anxiety just to mention a few really cause chaos in one's sleep cycle.
According to recent statistics carried out by the United States National Sleep Foundation, approximately 61% of women in USA going through menopause have sleep problems. This just speaks for a few of many other women across the globe struggling with the same and you could be one of them. We all know what inadequate sleep can do to our daily lives.
A known therapy known as Hormonal Replacement Therapy is commonly used to tone down these symptoms for better sleep. The therapy entails pills to help you sleep and sort of balance your hormones and vaginal cream to make it all moist and comfortable. Apart from it, there are other ways in which you can improve your sleep quality. Let us explore a couple of them.
Set up and stick to a constant sleep schedule
Maintaining a constant sleep-wake cycle is important for everyone, but it is even more essential if you are going through your menopause. By doing so, you do not only enhance your circadian rhythm, you also help your body tame any hormones to make you not fall asleep.
Part of maintaining the routine is not sleeping in during the weekends. As tempting as it may be, if you sleep during the weekend will confuse your biological clock therefore, it will be harder for you have a specific time that you will fall asleep. While it is not the best idea to do so, it wouldn't hurt to extend your sleep by an hour or two during the weekend but do not overdo it.
Your day to day activities can sometimes interfere with your schedule. It is important that you at least you adjust it for you to be flexible with your sleep-wake cycle.
Ensure that you have a conducive sleep environment
Sweating profusely because of hot flashes is just one of the major symptoms of the changes that come with menopause. This can really affect your sleep quality if you don't sleep in a suitable environment.
There are a number of factors that you have to pay close attention to when you are ensuring that.
- The temperature of your room. Your room temperature makes a great impact on your sleep pattern, especially when you are on menopause. Recent studies have shown that adjusting your temperature slightly lower than normal and wearing clothing that you can comfortably remove is very helpful. If the temperature is lower, it gives you that cooling effect and when you have that kind of clothing, you can easily take it off without necessarily having to wake up.
- How conducive your bed is. Your bed's comfortably is the key to having a better sleep. This is always determined by your mattresses and pillows. So how comfortable should your mattress be? Considering that your temperatures are higher than usual, you want a mattress that doesn't retain heat. A quality nectar medium firm memory foam mattress is a good example.
The mattress should be firm enough to support your spine but also be comfortable enough to prevent you from having back aches since it something very common during menopause. Your pillows should also be firm to support your head but still comfortable not to hurt your neck. Although experts advise against having memory foam mattresses due to their ability to trap heat, it is best that you have a medium firm one. This is because it doesn't trap as much heat and it still gives you the comfort you need.
Organize a suitable bedtime routine
You probably have a sleep schedule and you have absolutely maintained it but the problem comes in when you hope into bed. You just cannot get some sleep. One of the natural solutions to that is having a bedtime routine. This entails setting up some relaxation activities to do before bed to relax your mind.
Some of these activities include: reading a book, taking a warm bath, journaling about your day just to name a few. However, you have to make sure that your activity does not take too much of your time. Make it a point of being in bed at your set bedtime to keep your sleep-wake up cycle in check.
Keep off from having caffeinated beverages before bed
The last thing you want to do is to be alert when you are supposed to sleep especially because you need the most during this stage. Caffeine is one of the substances that will no doubt keep you awake. Coffee, tea and chocolate all have caffeine in them so you want to avoid drinking them right before bed.
Caffeine takes a whole lot of time before they wear off your system which will have gotten in the way of you having quality sleep. It will in turn leave you exhausted in the morning which is just another burden on top of what you're going through during this stage.
Flexing your muscles regularly during this important stage in your life is very beneficial. Ideally, experts recommend that working out especially at night improves both your sleep quantity and quality. When you work out, you naturally become tired which means you will spend in deep sleep which is the most fundamental phase of sleep generally.
Considering that you often feel exhausted, engaging in light workouts like yoga, simple stretches or even taking a walk is enough.
Truth be told, surviving on Hormonal Replacement Therapy cannot solve your lack of sleep problem. Although it balances your goodness and relieves some uncomfortable feelings in some parts of your body, there is more to it than that. With these practices you can no doubt sleep better.