Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I take a look at three ways that poor sleep can impact your menopause mood.
Poor sleep can have a huge impact on your general well-being and health. But in menopause, sleep is often affected further and this can wreak havoc with your emotions too.
Menopause and sleep
As your oestrogen starts to fall during menopause, this can interfere with how you fall asleep so it takes longer for you to get off to sleep. Lowering oestrogen also keeps you in a much shallower sleep, so you can get woken up much more easily during the night.
You can also get sleep disruption due to night sweats or if your bladder is overactive. So, all these extra things that happen during menopause can make our sleep even worse, and that can have a big effect on how you feel and how you deal with your emotions.
How does sleep impact your mood during menopause?
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can have a huge negative impact on your mood during the day, causing things such as anger, frustration, irritability, and also sadness. (1)
So today, I'm going to have a look at three ways in which poor sleep can affect you emotionally.
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1. Fatigue and tiredness can make you moodier
If you're not sleeping well, you're not going to wake up refreshed and will feel much more tired during the day. During menopause, you can get much more fatigued generally, so you can end up with a double whammy of this lethargy.
When you're in this state, you can often be more irritable and moodier, become more sluggish with your movements, and might not want to exercise. You may also lack the motivation to do anything, which can make your feel even more down.
Fatigue and tiredness will impact brain function, causing brain fog, which can make it difficult to concentrate and it can also create anxiety.
2. Poor sleep can affect our emotional reactions
You need good sleep to process all the emotional issues that have gone on during the day. If you don't get that healing and restoration, then the next day, both your emotional and physical issues can get worse.
Sleep deprivation also increases the activity of a gland in our brain called the amygdala. The amygdala is the rapid emotional response centre of the brain. So, if it becomes overactive, then you are going to respond much more quickly and have less control of your emotions. If this occurs you can get angry more quickly. You can get more snappy, irritable, and less patient. And you can become much more reactive to any emotional situation.
For some women it can result in you misinterpreting what other people are saying, causing you to get upset by things that you think people have said when they haven't said it at all. So, your whole emotional control can go out the window.
It can also be very frightening and worrying if you suddenly find that you're getting angry and if you can't control your emotions around other people, too.
3. Poor sleep can make you more stressed and anxious
During menopause, you can get this vicious cycle. Falling hormones can affect your nervous system which makes you more stressed and anxious anyway. If you then have poor sleep, that stress and anxiety can affect the way you sleep, which is then going to make you more stressed and anxious the next day. And it can just go on and on.
Stress and anxiety can affect the way you fall asleep. When going to bed at night, your mind can be racing and you can find it difficult to relax, which can make it harder to get to sleep.
For a lot of women, early morning anxiety is a problem too. You're waking up. You're not rested. And your brain can go into overdrive even before you've got out of bed.
Sleep better tips to help your emotional well-being
So, you need to look at ways to improve sleep as much as you can, to help stop it impacting your mood, as well as other menopause symptoms. Here are a few things that I recommend:
Create a good sleep routine
Our sleep expert Marianna has some great tips to help you get to sleep better in her blog: 'How do you create a good sleep routine', where she explains how to create a good sleep routine, including the best way to wind down at night, tips for eating and drinking, and what you can do if you feel you're not nodding off.
Try some herbal helpers
Look at herbs such as Valerian and Hops, which can be found in our Dormeasan sleep remedy. Valerian can help ease mild anxiety, whilst Hops can aid sleep.
A.Vogel Dormeasan Sleep Valerian-Hops Oral Drops for relief of sleep disturbances
- Traditional herbal medicinal product used to aid sleep
- Helps restore natural sleep and used to relieve sleep disturbances caused by mild anxiety
- Made from extracts of fresh Valerian root & Hops
- Take 30 drops in a little water or fruit juice 30 minutes before bedtime.
"Helps me sleep. I've used it on and off for years and it really helps."
Read more customer reviews
If night sweats are causing your sleep disturbances then I recommend taking our one-a-day Menoforce Sage tablets with your evening meal to help ease hot flushes and sweats during the night.
Take magnesium with your evening meal
For women with sleep problems, I generally recommend taking 200 milligrams of magnesium with your evening meal. This essential nutrient can help to relax you physically so that you can sleep better.
Have a technology break before bed
Switch off the TV at least an hour before bed. Also, don't take your computer or your phone to bed because the blue light will keep your brain active and that will be a problem getting off to sleep.
Try drinking calming teas in the evening
Avoid consuming caffeine such as coffee and tea late in the day. Caffeine is a stimulant, consuming it in the evening can make it harder for you to fall asleep. Instead, I recommend caffeine-free teas and herbal teas.
Create a comfortable sleep environment
Consider the temperature of your room. Being too cold or too warm can impact your sleep.
If you're getting flushes and sweats, then maybe change some of your bedding just to make sure you're that little bit cooler.
My bedtime routine
I try and switch the TV off maybe about an hour before I go to bed and I try not to read too much either unless it's a nice, relaxing book. I like adventure books, and mysteries/crime books, but I found that reading those can rev my nervous system up. So, I don't read those kinds of books before I go to bed, because I've found they affected the time it took me to get to sleep.
I like to have tea at night but I drink Rooibos tea in the evening rather than having ordinary tea because that can keep me awake.
I hope you found this one helpful. If any of you have any great tips and ideas of how you managed to improve your sleep, please share them because we'd love to hear all about them.
Key things to take away from this blog:
- Falling oestrogen can affect both your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, as well as cause mood problems such as mood swings, irritability, and anxiety.
- Poor sleep can impact your emotions more, worsening your mood and making you more emotionally reactive to situations and experiences.
- Sorting out your sleep issues can help prevent your mood problems from worsening. Herbs such as Valerian and Hops can help your sleep better. Creating a good sleep routine and a comfortable sleep environment is also important.
Until next week, take care.