Midlife Sleep Challenges: How to (Finally) Get the ZZZZs You Need!
I woke up again, kicking off the blankets, my silk nightgown damp against my skin, the back of my neck and hair wet with sweat. I tried not to look at the clock, but I did anyway, and groaned when I saw the time. I rolled to the edge of the bed, trying to find a cool spot on the sheet, exhausted and already starting to feel depressed. I was worn out by the pattern of waking up every night, over and over again. Whether it was hot flush, a kid needing a hug after a bad dream, or the dog whining to go out, it felt like I would never feel rested again.
About 40% to 60% of women in menopause have trouble sleeping. Some researchers speculate that poor sleep is a core challenge of menopause that contributes to many other perimenopause and menopause symptoms.
The most common menopause sleep problems are trouble falling asleep or trouble staying asleep (or both). Hot flushes, body temperature changes, and bladder issues can all disrupt sleep. I used to drag myself out of bed in the morning, already feeling angry that I was stuck on a relentless wheel of tiredness. I blamed my husband for breathing too loudly, I blamed myself for drinking a glass of wine with dinner (alcohol can increase hot flushes and disrupt sleep), I even blamed the neighbor for his security light shining in my bedroom window.
The side effects of sleep deprivation include:
Worsened mood swings and mental health struggles
Disrupted appetite and weight gain
Slow recovery from exercise
Worsened overall metabolic health
In other words, the less we sleep, the worse we feel, and we end up hungrier, foggier, and crankier each day. Hormonal changes already make a peri/menopausal woman feel like she is on a roller coaster. Add in lack of sleep, and it easily amplifies our symptoms. Poor sleep is a powerful stressor. I used to lay awake early in the morning, thinking how much my tiredness would affect the day ahead, from a slower reaction time on my morning commute, to my mood with my family, to my memory recall at the office.
Lack of sleep can make normal stressful life events feel even more stressful than they would be to someone who isn’t sleep deprived. The stress hormones triggered by poor sleep lead to increased sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity.
It’s helpful to think of sleep as the body’s re-set process. Most of us need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep to function optimally. The different phases of sleep (light sleep, deep sleep, REM sleep, etc) enable our brains to recharge and replenish energy stores needed to function. To break the stress cycle and get our hormones working well again, we must find a way to counterbalance stress with parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) “rest and digest” recovery time.
It wasn’t until I consistently used a combination of melatonin and magnesium that I finally started to sleep longer and more soundly. Radiate Wellness has created yet another game-changing cream supplement: Radiate Rest, a topical melatonin and magnesium lotion designed to support your quest for better, longer, deeper, sleep.
Ingredients in Radiate Rest:
Melatonin- Improves sleep, and known to help with seasonal depression and reduce anxiety.
Magnesium - A naturally-derived anti-inflammatory, known to soothe and counteract stress.
L-Theanine - Derived from green tea, this amino acid promotes relaxation and alertness.
We encourage you to create a short bedtime ritual that also doubles as stress relief and self-care. Allow yourself at least 30 minutes to relax before bed (even if you start with 10 minutes, and slowly increase the time, your body and mind will thank you). Keep your bedroom cool and dark, and when you awake, get about 10 minutes of light in the morning to help re-set your your circadian rhythm.
If you are ready to resolve your peri/menopause sleep challenges, give Radiate Rest a try!