Is the menopause affecting your sleep?
Hot Topic; Sleep and the Menopause.
Making a lot of headlines recently (to the relief of at last half of the population) are the issues women face during the peri-menopause and menopause. This has been brought to the forefront by Davina McCall’s recent ALL4 TV program on this subject, with many other well-known figures also coming forward to share their experiences.
I thought it may be helpful to give some tips on how you can manage your symptoms, be more comfortable in bed, and enjoy better sleep.
Let’s face it, we all know that a good night’s sleep is so essential to our mental and physical wellbeing, and many women find that they struggle to sleep well during peri-menopause and menopause, due to suffering from night sweats, hot-flushes and anxiety.
It is hard to believe that, on the whole, we are still so ill-informed on this subject when it affects millions of women in the UK alone (13 million women are experiencing the menopause at present). I am postmenopausal myself and since visiting Dr Newson’s Clinic in Stratford upon Avon, three years ago, I have been taking transdermal HRT and it really has improved my life. Women can suffer from many different symptoms, Dr Newson’s app, ‘Balance’ is a great source of information (You can download the app free from the app store).
Historically menopause care hasn’t been good in the UK, however the campaign to create more awareness by Dr Louise Newson(@themenopause_doctor) has been amazing. The lack of knowledgeable heath care in the UK for menopausal women needs to be addressed and updated. GP Training does not include this particular area of Women’s Health (it is a voluntary extra e-module) As it is not compulsory training for GP’s, many women have been described anti-depressants instead of HRT. A change is really needed.
It is time that the subject of the menopause becomes more freely talked about and for women to obtain more knowledge and support.
So back to my input; the impact that disturbed sleep during menopause is having on our mental health and how to have a better night sleep. Try these tips;
- Maintain a regular bedtime schedule, including going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time in the morning. This really helps to establish and maintain your circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is our body’s internal ‘clock’ and is responsible for our sleep-wake cycle. To keep it on track, it’s important that we get as much natural light during the day.. It is best to skip daytime naps or limit them to a maximum of 20-30 minutes.
- Avoid blue light exposure for at least two hours before bedtime, your body will start producing melatonin to aid you achieve a deep sleep. You could also try blue-light blocking glasses .
- Have a lukewarm shower before you go to bed and let your body temperature drop a little bit, However, make sure you’re taking a lukewarm shower as opposed to a cold or very hot one. Hot showers can heat up your bathroom and already warm room, while cold showers can have a stimulating effect — making it harder for you to fall asleep.
- Keep the bedroom cool and ventilated. It has been scientifically proven that a lower body temperature helps you achieve REM sleep more easily.
- Exercise regularly but not right before sleep. Regular exercise is shown to be helpful with improving sleep. Gentle, calming movements such as restorative yoga or tai chi are ideal options close to bedtime.
- Avoid excessive caffeine (caffeine stays in your blood for six to eight hours).
- Try listening to a guided meditation or sleep stories. I really enjoy the Calm app. Listening to a guided relaxing meditation helps to calm the mind and soothe anxiety. Try integrating some soothing breathing exercises or body scans into a night-time routine to create a more tranquil state and promote better sleep.
- Get the right bedding @shadesofcoollondon. Over- heating and night sweats are common menopause symptoms that can really disturb your night’s sleep. that Dohars are the best way to keep you cool at night, the layers trap cool air and keep your body temperature more comfortable. Our Dohar blankets are perfect and exclusive to the UK.
What is a Dohar Blanket?
Dohar blankets are Indian summer blankets, made from three layers of superior quality super soft, finely woven cotton.(MulMul) The middle layer of cotton is traditionally block printed in beautiful designs, creating a subtle muted effect on the colours and patterns.
Dohars were extremely popular with Indian Royalty and kept the Maharajahs cool in the monsoon when air-conditioning wasn’t available.
The benefits of sleeping under a Dohar rather than traditional duvets or blankets include the following;
- The coverlets help to keep you cool at night.
- Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic
- Feels soft and luxurious on the skin
- Breathable and airy bedding that help increase sleep quality
- More substantial than a single sheet, yet lightweight, airy and breathable.
So, for a cool and undisturbed night’s sleep why not try changing your bed covers to a dohar blanket, after all, if its good enough for royalty, its good enough for us!
Check out our collections and prints here