Disrupted Sleep During Menopause
During menopause, the female body undergoes some physical and mental changes and, often times, suffers from lack of sleep. Sometimes it’s just the little worries that creep in, other times it’s severe anxiety. Often times, disrupted sleep during menopause are greatly affected by hormone imbalances. All of these are precursors to lack of sleep and insomnia. The good news is that there are herbal remedies that can gently soothe sleep disorders caused by menopause and those ailments. We at FEMNA Health would like to give you some tips.
Causes of Menopausal Sleeping Disorder
Hormones influence many processes in our body. Just as they induce the fertile phase of women in adolescence, hormones change during menopause to transition into an infertile phase. In addition to this development, hormones also have a direct influence on sleep behavior which is why hormonal imbalances can also cause sleep disorders.
Sleep disorders can be cause indirectly, for example, by the uncomfortable occurrence of hot flashes, profuse sweating, or mood swings during or just before sleeping. Again, hormones play a crucial role in these symptoms and can only be alleviated by understanding the cause and supplementing nutrients that can help to balance them.
Psychological stress can also antagonize sleep. Chronic stress contributes to the overproduction of cortisol within the adrenal glands which, in excess, can overburden your body. This chronic hormonal production is keeping your body in survival mode (like running from a predator and never being able to stop and rest or triumph). This will exhaust your adrenals, your body and hormone balance. Being in a cortisol dominant, stressed, survival mode will thus cause disrupted sleep during menopause. Practicing ways to relieve stress and lower cortisol will tremendously improve sleep.
Symptoms of Menopausal Sleeping Disorders
Not all women struggle with menopausal symptoms. However, sleep disorders affect many people whether or not menopause is an issue, apparent or even occurring. Though, insomnia is one of the top menopausal symptoms dealt with my many women. Dealing with sleep disorders, especially insomnia, creates a negative feedback loop — much like most health-related topics. This means, when not sleeping well, further disturbed and disrupted sleep during menopause will occur. Without being able to fully benefit from a regenerative and full-night sleep, someone might feel fatigued and energy-drained during the day while continuing to encounter sleep disturbances. This will eventually deteriorate health.
What Helps Menopause Insomnia?
Menopausal insomnia is often due to the hormonal imbalance that causes night sweats, anxiety and heart palpitations as well as thyroid dysfunction — all of which contribute to sleep impairment.
Fortunately, there are many natural remedies to promote a healthy sleeping pattern. Many herbs also contain hormone-like substances called phyto-hormones and are quite useful consumed in a tea. Herbal baths to help relax before bedtime are often helpful with magnesium salts or lavender.
If the menopausal sleep disorders are caused by hot flashes, it is recommended to read our guide on alleviating symptoms naturally. These guides explain ways to mitigate the problems long-term, though, unfortunately, not so much in the short-term. An immediate relief of hot flashes might come from using an oil with mint and elecampane over the heated parts of the body. If you sweat a lot during the night, you can easily wear breathable fabrics that will keep you dry or set aside spare pajamas nearby. Sometimes, in extreme cases, a quick cold shower can be a quick fix for the night.
For menopausal symptoms, hot flashes or sweats, many alchemists and medical professionals recommended certain herbs that harmonize the hormonal changes during this phase. These include sage leaves, lady’s mantle, hops, angelica root & elecampane. The Be Cool Tee by FEMNA Health created with the help of our expert herbal team contains some of these herbs.
If you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and often wake up, you’re right to be worried — you need your sleep! The best trick is to avoid looking at the clock and to let go of any rigid schedule so that you are falling asleep naturally and sleeping as long as you need. Though, many people may not have this luxury and getting enough sleep in the allotted time is necessary. The pressure to sleep is often times an additional stress that makes it harder to fall asleep! See the problem here? So, we need to address the individual issues of sleep and alleviate them accordingly.
Those who recognize that the cause of sleep disorders stem from mind unrest, trauma, anxiety or other emotional matters may find relief seeking out a therapist. Sleep can come easier when our minds feel clear of the many burdens weighing it down.
In some severe cases, doctors might prescribe a sleeping aid for a short-term remedy, especially when sleep is sparse for a long period of time. Progesterone is known to be an extremely sedative hormone in small doses but should only be used with the help of a medical professional.
As with so many physical and mental ailments, the body is in need of a well-balanced lifestyle with good nutrition and exercise to thrive. Especially for a good night’s sleep, a healthy body and mind will have an easier time coping, adjusting and healing. Drinking soothing teas with chamomile and mint or the use of relaxing herbs like lavender and damania can immensely support sleep.
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