According to the National Sleep Foundation, 61% of menopausal women experience insomnia and disturbed nights. Food Scientist and Nutritional Therapist Susie Debice reveals natural ways to get a restorative night’s sleep.
Triggers for disrupted sleep during perimenopause include worry, anxiety and being woken through the night by bouts of night sweats. After the menopause it seems that snoring and sleep apnoea may become more of an issue than before the menopause. As you go through the menopause falling levels of oestrogen and progesterone may have the impact of derailing your mood and mindset.
Anxiety is an extremely common symptom of the menopause and you could find yourself worrying about all sorts of things that you never paid much attention to before. This could feel very unsettling and you may find yourself waking in the night, churning things over in your mind and being unable to get back to sleep.
Oestrogen and progesterone have a part to play for neurotransmitter balance, the tiny brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine responsible for our feelings of happiness and a relaxed frame of mind. As your hormone levels fall during the menopause the delicate balance of these neurotransmitters becomes disrupted and this may be reflected in a more uptight mood and inability to achieve a good night’s sleep, every night of the week.
Women Need More Sleep than Men!
According to Britain’s sleep Dr J Horne, women need an average of twenty minutes more sleep than men. Why? Dr Horne’s research has revealed that women tend to use more parts of their brain during the day, than men because women are constantly multi-tasking! But often women are woken through the night by their partners moving around more in bed at night or getting up for trips to the loo. So many menopausal women just aren’t getting the amount of quality sleep they need to feel properly rested and ready for the day ahead.
5 Easy Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep
- Increase your activity – get at least 5-10k steps a day
- Avoid caffeine – swap coffee to decaf and builders brew for camomile tea
- Reduce alcohol – save your glass of wine for the weekend
- Blue light – avoid screens for a least 2 hours before bed
- Bedtime routine – warm lavender bath followed by reading a book
Could CBD Oil be the Answer?
If you are suffering from a particularly impactful bout of menopausal insomnia, then you could consider CBD oil. CBD is a type of cannabinoid extracted from the hemp or cannabis plant. Hemp contains several compounds which are thought to work within the nervous system and pain and opioid receptors found within the body and brain. CBD is produced from strains of cannabis that have been altered to have low THC, another type of cannabinoid which is best avoided due to its psychoactive properties.
CBD is also found in hemp alongside flavonoids and terpenes which may offer additional benefits and if you are thinking about buying a CBD oil then be aware that they are categorised in three ways:
- Full-Spectrum – these products contain CBD alongside other cannabinoids (including THC) and flavonoids and terpenes.
- Broad Spectrum – contain CBD with much lower levels of other cannabinoids and flavonoids and terpenes.
- CBD Isolate - this is pure CBD without any of the other cannabinoids.
The quality and quantity of CBD oil can vary greatly from one product to the next. One brand you can trust is PharmaHemp who have CBD oil drops available in a wide range of strengths from 3% to 24%. It’s advisable to start with a low dose and work your way up.
We all know how important high quality sleep is for our general health and wellbeing, so menopausal insomnia is an issue that needs addressing. Hopefully, some of the information provided in this blog will prove useful for you if you are struggling with sleep during the menopause, however, if the problems persist, it's always worth speaking with a medical professional.