How To Sleep At Night With Menopause
The joys of menopause bring such things as hot flashes (or your own personal summer), vaginal dryness, dry skin, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, and more. But my worst symptoms are night sweats, difficulty sleeping, memory loss, and body pain. While there’s not much that I can do to deal with the memory loss of the body pain, I can do something about my sleeping issues.
Experts have surmised that the be temperature for sleeping is 65 degrees and while I think that this is a wonderful temperature, my husband is one of the people who get cold when it’s under 80 degrees. So the temperature in our house at night is 72 degrees.
On June 12, 2009, after about 6 years of difficult periods, I had a hysterectomy. To be perfectly honest, it was one of the best days of my life. My doctor discovered I had endometriosis and she had a mess to deal with when she opened me up.
Because of the endometriosis, I was unable to go on hormones immediately and had to wait at least 6 months. I opted to wait a year and then I begged my doctor to prescribe them because of the night sweats and difficulty sleeping. I wasn’t really dealing with hot flashes thankfully. I had almost immediate relief.
Fast forward 6 years and I was ready to get off of the hormones. Most doctors only give them for 5 years after starting to prevent long-term complications. While HRT (hormone replacement therapy) can counteract some of the long-term health problems associated with the menopause, like osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, it can also contribute to conditions such as thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, stroke, breast and endometrial cancer, and gallbladder disease.
By stopping the HRT, I reopened the door to all those post-menopausal symptoms that I listed above. Now, on top of the original symptoms, I have some anxiety, occasional fatigue, and irritability. Yay me! I’ve had to change my nighttime routine to counteract the difficulty sleeping and night sweats so that I can get a good night’s sleep.
How I sleep at night now
I have a few things that really make sleeping at night a more positive experience. The one thing that I can’t live without is a floor fan. In addition to lowering the thermostat, I use a ceiling fan AND a floor fan. I found a great fan – Ozeri Ultra 42 inch Wind Fan. This fan is an adjustable oscillating tower fan that has noise reduction technology. The fan is noticeably quieter than other tower fans that I’ve used in the past. It has 3 preprogrammed airflow patterns designed to foster sleep, relaxation, and comfort, as well as 3 super-quiet speed settings a90-degreeree oscillation for optimal air circulation. A feature that I don’t use but might be something that others would like is the 12-hour timer that can be easily be programmed in 1-hour increments. I’m a huge fan of the remote control that can be conveniently stored in the lid of the fan. The major downfall is the bright yellow, blue, and green lights used to light the face of the fan. They are so bright that they’re distracting when I try to sleep. If there were a feature to decrease the light coming from them then this fan would be down right perfect.
Another thing that I can not live without is my essential oils. More specifically Clary Sage, Mister, and EndoFlex from Young Living. These three oils help support women with menopausal symptoms. I know that when I’m faithful about using these oils before bed and when I wake up, I have fewer symptoms. That being said, you may not have the same results that I do and you should always consult your medical professional to be sure that these oils will benefit you.
I’ve heard it said that a salt lamp can help with sleeping difficulties. If you want to try one then I recommend the Levoit Elora Himalayan Salt Lamp. I wrote a post about all its fabulous features HERE.
And finally, for those times when nothing will help my brain shut down, there’s the Relief Readers Insomnia Cure. Author Scott Lindsay, The Anxiety Trainer, uses three extremely descriptive stories to gently help the reader to fall sleep. It’s available as a paperback book and on Kindle. By creating an ideal environment with low light, the reader slowly reads each word of the text while forming a picture in their mind of what they are reading. Each story uses a different setting to take the reader on a gentle journey towards a good night’s sleep. Think guided visualization or guided imagery but you’re not listening to anyone, you’re actually reading it to yourself. It might even work better if you did actually read it out loud to yourself. Perhaps you can read it out loud to someone else as a bedtime story. You can find the author’s other book, Relief Readers Anxiety Relief, on Amazon as well.
So don’t lose another night’s sleep to menopause. Try some of these tools to help you rest easy and improve the symtoms of menopause and pre-menopause.
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