7 Tips For Quality Sleep During Menopause

by | Mar 30, 2021 | Blog, Menopause, Wellbeing | 0 comments

Quality sleep is so essential to our wellbeing. Especially when our bodies are experiencing upheaval such as menopause. Yet, quality sleep is casually overlooked when we focus on improving our health.

So often when we focus on our nutrition or exercise we assume that it’s that which is making us feel better. Sometimes though, it’s that those changes have improved our quality of sleep that has made the biggest difference to our energy. Sleep is when our bodies recover. When our minds rest and we restore. Think of it as a computer system update that takes place overnight. Come the morning you should wake feeling refreshed and energised for the day.

Are you feeling like that? Or does your body wake sluggish? Do you often feel as if you’ve only just shut your eyes before morning comes? Have you woken during the night with a restless body and/or mind?

Bad sleep can make you feel like Alice falling down a rabbit hole. It makes you muddled and distressed and as if you can’t hold onto your thoughts. However, there are some simple ways you can help your body and mind surrender to getting the rest it so desperately needs.

Here are my top 7 tips for quality sleep during menopause, that will aid your zzz’s so you can feel rested, happy and fabulous when the birds start chirping.

quality sleep

Have an early dinner

There’s a reason for the early bird special. Whilst it’s natural for us to resist this, there are real reasons that we are advised to eat earlier as we age. Can you remember the last time you had a late dinner? Maybe it was your favourite Italian restaurant. Maybe you enjoyed a whole pizza, a few glasses of wine and perhaps even the traditional espresso? Great idea at the time, the only problem was you really struggled to sleep. Not only is the espresso a bad idea, but your body is also working extra hard to digest all that food when what it really wants to do is clean, repair and heal.

Perhaps pizza is an unfair example because it’s particularly hard to digest. However, even a healthier meal or late snacking may still be putting your body through unnecessary stress during its resting hours. Allow your body to focus on digestion whilst it’s awake and ready. Eating early does not make you elderly. After all, many of us did it when our kids were young. So don’t be shy about eating earlier now.

 

Eat smaller portions

As we age our metabolisms slow down. The meals you were able to put away a few years ago are not what your body needs right now. You may be less active and, as a consequence, you just don’t need that much food. This is why, in addition to eating earlier, I recommend eating smaller portions as you transition through menopause.

Because serving size is habitual it can seem unnatural to purposefully change it, especially when weight loss isn’t the goal. Though it may feel as if you’re depriving your body, by reducing your portion size you may well be giving it the gift it most craves.

This is the perfect excuse to go shopping for some new plates! Smaller tableware is the simplest way to reduce serving size in a less conscious way. Plus, there are some beautiful decorative plates out there that tend to be in between side plate and dinner plate size.

Eating smaller portions in the evenings can help your body focus on getting quality sleep. However, reducing your food intake means you need to be more conscious that what you are eating is nutritional and varied.

quality sleep healthy gut

Reduce caffeine  

Caffeine may have been a good friend to you for many years. Helped you get going in the morning. Helped you get that second wind in mid-afternoon. Yet, there’s a reason that caffeine is the first thing they advise you to cut out when pregnant. This is because it’s a stimulus

You may have heard this before, but yes caffeine can really mess with your sleep. A double espresso from 8am is still working out of your system by 5pm, so imagine having a few of those plus a few cups of tea. You’re buzzing and you don’t even know it. See what happens if you have your last cup of coffee at 1pm. 

 

Practice mindfulness

So many plans, to-do lists, unspoken words, hurtful comments, bad drivers, concerns about the kids, worry over ageing parents – how does one make it stop? 

We are processing so much every moment that our minds are in constant turmoil. Whilst there is often little we can do to reduce these thoughts and responsibilities, such is life, we can change how we respond to them. After all, being in a heightened state during the day does not mean you will be exhausted enough to sleep soundly come evening. Actually, it usually has the opposite effect.

Practising mindfulness can be a highly effective way of managing stress, anxiety and overwhelm. However, even if you don’t consider yourself to be experiencing this, mindfulness can simply help you enjoy day-to-day life more.

If you can master the art of silencing the tap-tapping of your brain’s constant processing. If you can learn to take moments, in the course of your day, to breathe deeper and notice more, then you’re teaching your body how to rest. You’re telling your brain when it is time to clock off. Practising this ability will undoubtedly lead to better quality sleep.

Restorative yoga

Perhaps you’re a life-long lover of yoga, or maybe you’re a total stranger to the practice. Regardless, if you’re entering perimenopause or menopause, restorative yoga may aid your body well through the transition. 

So what is restorative yoga?

restorative yoga

It’s much like ageing really. It’s all the same basic principles but it’s slowed down. The aim is to adjust or maintain your body’s alignment and flexibility, through gentle resistance and stretching. If you have ever attempted Yin Yoga then you most likely won’t find it much different. However, teachers of restorative yoga understand that many participants may have limited mobility or be recovering from injury. 

Many women going through perimenopause or moving towards it are flocking to restorative yoga, including myself.

But how does yoga aid sleep? It’s not only that physical activity usually does help us sleep better. The breathing and meditative elements of yoga are also important. Some poses are held for as long as 20 minutes, usually with the help of props and folded blankets to assist you. Much like mindfulness, this is teaching you to be comfortable with stillness, quiet and to let go of stress. Learning this is going to help tremendously with the quality of your sleep, but also can help to remove anxiety and worry if getting to sleep is challenging. 

 

A few gentle aids

If you are struggling to get quality sleep, there are a few supplements I will always recommend. I use them and find they work like a charm.

L-theanine: 1 capsule half an hour before bed works a charm in lessening the head noise by having an effect on the brain’s GABA neurotransmitters. 

Magnesium: 100- 300mg daily. You can take this before bed.

For more information on natural sleep aids, please visit The Sleep Doctor 

 

Last drink a few hours before bed

In earlier years, late evening herbal teas helped to calm us and warm our bodies ready for snuggling into bed. They were a good thing to do. You may also have routinely taken a glass of water to bed to hydrate your body for the night. Yet, as we age the advice changes. 

Our bodies are far more likely to wake for necessary trips to the toilet. This means interrupted sleep. Plus, it can be increasingly harder to get yourself back to dreamland.

Unfortunately, the only way to prevent this is to avoid fluids leading up to bedtime. And yes, I’m very sorry but this does include wine.

 

My last words on sleep in menopause


It is perfectly natural for our sleep patterns to change at certain stages of our lives. It changes when we are teenagers, for those of us who experience pregnancy, and then again in later life. How we sleep is one of our body’s biggest indicators as to whether we are getting what we need. Whilst changes in our bodies might make quality sleep more challenging, the suggestions above will help improve your quality of sleep.

I highly recommend keeping a sleep diary as you change your habits. This will help you to observe what is working for you and keep you motivated to pursue lifestyle habits that help you sleep soundly.

 

If you’re struggling with sleep in peri-menopause or any other ups and downs that is negatively impacting your wellbeing at this stage get in touch.

Schedule a call here to have a chat and find out more about my 1:1 coaching. My deep dive, signature program, ‘Simply Revived’, may be just what you’ve been looking for to feel lighter, healthier and happier. Reclaiming your Zest for live is easier than you think!

 

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As a qualified nutritional therapist, mindfulness teacher and trained chef, I have a deep understanding of all the factors that contribute to our wellbeing.

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