Photo by Lauren Kay on Unsplash
Have you said “bye bye” to sleeping through the night?
Are you feeling exhausted or “running on stress hormones” all day?
Especially when you are 35 and up, sleep issues can start to appear as perimenopause approaches.
Do not fear, I have some great tips and an amazing recipe for you!
(Check the recipe section for a caffeine-free chai latte)
The science of sleep is fascinating, complicated and growing.
Sleep is this daily thing that we all do and yet we’re just beginning to understand all of the ways it helps us and all of the factors that can affect it.
Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind. People who get less sleep tend to be at higher risk for so many health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer; not to mention effects like slower metabolism, weight gain, hormone imbalance, and inflammation. And don’t forget the impact lack of sleep can have on moods, memory and decision-making skills.
Do you know that lack of sleep may even negate the health benefits of your exercise program? (Gasp!)
OMG – What aspect of health does sleep not affect???
Knowing this, it’s easy to see the three main purposes of sleep:
1) To restore our body and mind. Our bodies repair, grow and even “detoxify” our brains while we sleep.
2) To improve our brain’s ability to learn and remember things, technically known as “synaptic plasticity”.
3) To conserve some energy so we’re not just actively “out and about” 24-hours a day, every day.
Do you know how much sleep adults need? It’s less than your growing kids need but you may be surprised that it’s recommended that all adults get 7 – 9 hours a night. For real!
Statistics say that 40% of 40-59 year-olds report short sleep duration in the US, meaning less than 7 hours a night! 40%… that is a large number and maybe explains why so many women experience menopausal symptoms in the first place!
So, try not to skimp!
(Don’t worry, I have you covered with a bunch of actionable tips below.)
Tips for better sleep
The biggest tip is definitely to try to get yourself into a consistent sleep schedule. Make it a priority and you’re more likely to achieve it. This means turning off your lights 8 hours before your alarm goes off. Seven. Days. A. Week. I know weekends can easily throw this off but by making sleep a priority for a few weeks your body and mind will adjust and thank you for it.
Balance your blood sugar throughout the day. You know, eat less refined and processed foods and more whole foods (full of blood-sugar-balancing fiber). Choose the whole orange instead of the juice (or orange-flavoured snack). Make sure you’re getting some protein every time you eat. Balancing your blood sugar will help you fall asleep easier and also helps you stay asleep.
During the day get some sunshine and exercise. These things tell your body it’s daytime; time for being productive, active and alert. By doing this during the day it will help you wind down more easily in the evening. Your body is synced with the seasons and the circadian rhythm. Try and live according to that rhythm as best as you can, every day.
Cut off your caffeine and added sugar intake after 12pm. Whole foods like fruits and veggies are fine, it’s the “added” sugar we’re minimizing. Yes, this includes your beloved chai latte. Both caffeine and added sugar can keep your mind a bit more active than you want it to be come evening. (HINT: I have a great caffeine-free chai latte recipe for you below!).
Have a relaxing bedtime routine that starts 1 hour before your “lights out” time (that is 8 – 10 hours before your alarm is set to go off). This would include dimming your artificial lights, nixing screen time and perhaps reading an (actual, not “e”) book or having a bath. Be creative here and listen to your body what it needs to unwind.
So how many of these tips can you start implementing today?
Leave a comment by clicking the button on the top of the post, I’d like to hear from you. Let’s start a discussion to help each other with tips that work with better sleep. I’d love to hear from you.