One of the most commonly reported symptoms of menopause is sleeping problems. Sleep is one life’s mysteries, although we are learning more about it all the time and a good night’s sleep is one of the cornerstones of health. 6-8 hours per night seems to be the optimal amount for most adults.
Circadian rhythms are the body’s response to 24-hour cycle of patterns of light and darkness. When they are disrupted it can weaken your immune system and disrupt your hormones, so it’s important to establish a bedtime routine.
Here are 7 tips to help you get a good night’s sleep.
1. Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible.
2. Room temperature is important. Studies show that the optimal room temperature is between 18C and 21C degrees.
3. Don’t drink any fluids, especially alcohol and caffeine, within 2 hours of going to bed!
4. Increase your melatonin. Melatonin is a completely natural substance, made by your body, and has many health benefits in addition to sleep. Ideally, it is best to increase levels naturally with exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime (along with full spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the winter) and complete darkness at night. If that isn’t possible, consider a melatonin supplement.
5. Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs) such as mobile phones, computers and TVs, as they disrupt the pineal gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin.
6. AVOID SLEEPING PILLS! According to a 2007 analysis by the National Institutes of Health, sleeping pills reduced the average time it takes to fall sleep by less than 13 minutes compared to a placebo. Apart from being ineffective, sleeping pills also have potentially dangerous side effects.
7. Listen to relaxation CDs. Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds to be soothing for sleep. An excellent relaxation/meditation option to listen to before bed is the Insight audio CD. Another favourite is the Sleep Harmony CD, which uses a combination of advanced vibrational technology and guided meditation to help you effortlessly fall into deep delta sleep within minutes.
What are your tried and tested tips for a good night’s sleep? Comment below and we can all benefit from your suggestions