Poor sleep is a common menopause symptom, but sleep can also be made even more elusive by other symptoms. Today I take a look at several menopause symptoms that might be impacting your sleep and how to deal with them to help you sleep better.
Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I take a look at five menopause symptoms that can impact your sleep and might be keeping you awake.
Menopause and poor sleep
Poor sleep is really common in menopause. The problem is that falling oestrogen gives us a much shallower sleep so many things that would never have disturbed us in the past, both physical and external, can now wake us up much more easily. And very often, it takes that much longer to get back to sleep. If you then add in other menopause symptoms that you may be experiencing, then a good night's sleep can be even more elusive.
Symptoms that can distrupt your sleep and keep you awake
So, what I'm going to look at today are five other menopause symptoms that may be impacting your sleep and what you could do to help yourself.
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It's probably no surprise that the number one menopause symptom which can impact our sleep is night sweats. Very often night-time sweats are accompanied by palpitations, which can wake you up and suddenly making everything worse.
So not only can night-sweats wake you up, you might perspire so much that you need to change your bedding and your nightclothes. By the time you've done all that, your system is revved up and it can be even more difficult to get back to sleep. And if this is happening two or three times a night, then you're not getting any kind of productive sleep at all.
What can help?
For the night sweats, you can look at the herb sage, which is in our Menoforce Sage tablets and has been traditionally used for years to relieve hot flushes and excessive sweating associated with menopause.
Remember to drink plenty of water. Dehydration will make everything worse. And if you are perspiring to the point where your clothes are getting wet, then the amount of moisture your body is losing can be huge. So, it's vital here if you're getting a lot of night sweats or you're getting them regularly, to drink plenty of plain water during the day. Plus, have a little shot glass of warm water just before bed because very often, that can help to keep you hydrated during the night.
Also, eating late at night can put extra pressure on your digestive system, and that in turn can wake you up and it can trigger night sweats as well, but so can hunger! So, having a little bedtime snack can make all the difference. But just make sure it's not a sugary one. It needs to be some kind of protein, something like maybe yogurt and some nuts or berries can sometimes be a nice snack about an hour before bed.
Anxiety is a menopause symptom which the majority of women will experience at some point. If you're anxious, you know how difficult it is to get off to sleep because your brain is going at full pelt.
You're worrying about things. Your mind's revving up. Your nervous system is revving up. And going to sleep, very often, just doesn't happen. And it can cause you to toss and turn all night, which isn't nice. I've been there. I know what it's like.
Also, what can happen with anxiety is that as I've mentioned before, you can get palpitations during the night which can wake you up. And a lot of those suffering from anxiety find that they wake up about 4 o'clock in the morning. Their nervous system is in full flow. You sometimes get a very nervous tummy and that can stop you from getting off to sleep for that last few hours, too.
What can help?
For this particular one, you can look at our sleep remedy Dormeasan Valerian & Hops Oral Drops, which is added to a little water or juice 30 minutes before bed. Herbs such as valerian and hops can help you to get off to sleep quicker. They can calm the nervous system, and they can keep you in a deeper sleep for longer.
If you find that your mind is going all over the place, if it's racing away like a 100-mile-an-hour train at night, then you can look at our Night Essence. And this is a lovely one because if you wake up during the night and you're starting to feel that anxiety, you can just put several drops on your tongue, and hopefully, that will help to get you back off to sleep as well.
If you wake up and you're desperate to go to the toilet. And when you go, you only pass a little urine. You then go back to bed. An hour or two later, you're back up again, then very often, this is a classic sign of dehydration.
If you haven't drunk enough water during the day, your urine that's being produced during the night will be acidic. And it will just irritate your bladder and it will keep doing that all night.
What can help?
So the simplest thing for this one here, plenty of plain water during the day and have a little shot glass of warm water before bed.
I recommended this to one lady and she just didn't believe me that it would make any difference. A week or so later, she came back and told me that she couldn't believe the difference. Instead of having to get up five or six times during the night, she was only having to get up once or twice.
And for her, the difference that made to her sleep was really quite amazing. So sometimes, it's the little, simple things that work the best.
Also, try not to have irritating drinks in the evening because this will just compound the acidic urine problem. So, keep caffeine for the afternoon at the latest and especially coffee, try and have that before 12noon.
Alcohol and fizzy drinks, unfortunately, can do the same thing. So, having that glass of wine as a nightcap can sometimes cause much more disruption to your sleep than what you think it may do.
4. Aches and pains
This is a horrible one. If your muscles and joints are aching, then you will find it hard to settle or relax, making falling asleep so much more difficult. And if you're in a lot of pain that can wake you up from your shallower sleep and then make it harder to fall back to sleep.
What can help?
You can look at remedies such as our Devil's Claw tablets to help ease muscle and joint pain. If it's just small areas that are causing you pain, such as your knee or hip, then you can look at our Arnica Gel for targeted pain relief.
Also, drinking plenty of water during the day helps with this one too, because dehydration can have a huge impact on joint pain.
Also, look at your mattress. Sometimes, these things can compound the problem. When was the last time you had a new mattress or new pillows? If you're sleeping badly, if you've got too many pillows or not enough pillows, then that can irritate joint pain even further. Sometimes, looking at the practical aspect of having a good night's sleep can make quite a difference as well.
5. Restless legs
Many women find that they go to bed, they try to get to sleep, and suddenly, their legs are dancing all over the place. Restless legs can be really painful and you can get these accompanied by muscle cramps.
What can help?
This is mainly caused by low magnesium, which is a very important mineral in menopause. So, I recommend taking a magnesium supplement, 200 milligrams twice a day. Taking your second dose of magnesium with your evening meal can make a huge amount of difference.
Magnesium is great for sleep too because it relaxes the mind and it relaxes our muscles. So, taking that one can have several really good benefits for helping with sleep.
Dehydration can be another cause, so another reason to make sure you are drinking plenty of water during the day.
Poor circulation can also trigger this symptom. If you're one of these people that after you've had your evening meal, you just sit and watch the TV all night, then your circulation in the lower legs is going to stagnate. And that can also be a contributory factor to things like restless legs and muscle cramps.
Doing some simple exercises, maybe an hour or two before bed can help with this. I've got one of those mini-trampolines and if I feel that my legs are getting a bit stiff or I can feel my circulation not particularly good, then I'll just do a few minutes bouncing on the trampoline, maybe mid-evening. And sometimes, again, that can be enough just to make a difference whilst you're going to sleep.
My Self-Care Tip: Handy tips to help you sleep better
What you do before you sleep can have a big impact on how quickly you fall asleep and how well you sleep throughout the night. Discover more tips to help you sleep better in my self-care video:
I hope you found this one useful and helpful. If any of you out there have other symptoms that you have found have kept you awake and you have also realised really good tips on how to help yourself, we would love to hear from you, so please do share your stories.
Key points to take away from this blog:
Poor sleep is very common during menopause, and it can be impacted even more by several other menopause symptoms.
Night sweats, anxiety, frequent urination, aches and pains, and restless legs can all make getting to sleep even harder, as well as disrupt your sleep during the night.
There are lots of herbs such as Sage and Valerian which can help ease these night-time menopause symptoms
Drinking plenty of water during the day and having a shot glass of warm water before bed can help ease most of these symptoms.
You won’t get the menopause the minute you turn 50! The average starting age is actually between 45 and 55 and it can often depend on a number of factors including hereditary, weight and health, however every single woman will have an individual menopause.