Sleep is sometimes the holy grail when it comes to peri-menopause. Rising levels of cortisol, added to a weaker bladder and hot flushes at night, which cause waking, can trip people into a cycle of anxiety about sleeplessness which can lead to more sleepless nights.
The best thing to do is stop worrying about it but that’s easier said that done. After years of poor sleep with young children I looked forward to the years when my children would wake long after the dawn chorus, and thankfully I do sleep really well.
But it’s not just luck.
I know understand my bodies physiology and I know what I need to get a good nights sleep, I also know that worrying about it causes more stress, higher levels of cortisol and….less sleep.
So what can you do to get your shut eye?
- Stop calling yourself an insomniac or saying you are a “bad sleeper”, this reinforces the behaviour in your brain so that you brain adopts the behaviour of a “bad sleeper”. Step reinforcing negative menopause stereotypes. Instead say “I had a restless night”. It’s done its dusted.
2. Reduce stress. Maybe easier said than done, but you can introduce stress reduction tools into your daily routine. Make them a ritual. This is why meditation is so good for this time in your life – it creates a habit of resting your mind, reducing cortisol and increasing well-being. And sleep.
3.Have a sleep schedule. Know when you go to sleep and wake up and stick to your schedule as much as you possibly can. A night own won’t break the sleep bank, but even if you go on holiday do your best to stick to it.
4.Reframe night waking and call them peaceful pauses instead! Looking at those moments in a positive way, can reduce anxiety, and increase the rest your brain is getting. If you wake at night and are relaxed about it, maybe doing a guided meditation, your brain waves slow down to a state of meaningful rest. This really does make a difference – I use this a lot personally.
5. Do a hypnosis letting go at night before you go to sleep. There is a track to download for free that goes with my book Mindful Menopause that you can get here www.penguin.co.uk/mindfulmenopause
I have a lot more tips tricks and downloads in my book Mindful Menopause that you can buy from all major retailers. Click here to buy my book and get your sleep back on track.