The first effect of menopause I experienced after my radical hysterectomy was hot flashes. Hot flashes are one of the most known onsets of menopause in general however, as time goes on women being to experience other changes as well. Maybe a month after I came home and all of the medication wore out of my system is when I started noticing interrupted sleep due to hot flashes, but over time I couldn’t fall asleep until 2am/3am and I had to be to work for 9am guess who had moody mornings 🙋🏾♀️.
I found a research article entitled “Sleep disturbance in women who undergo surgical menopause compared with women who experience natural menopause” by Cho, Na Young BA; Kim, Soriul PhD; Nowakowski, Sara PhD; Shin, Chol MD, PhD; Suh, Sooyeon PhD which stated the following in their objective, “Women who undergo surgical menopause (SM) experience a relatively more acute and precipitous drop of estrogen compared with women who experience natural menopause (NM). Few studies, however, have compared sleep quality in women who experience natural versus SM.” We definitely need more research in this area because I am certain there is a huge difference, and I know this just by asking family members who are naturally menopausal they don’t experience the things that I do especially in intensity.
I’m still working on my sleep issues and hope to write a post about my experience, but I do have a few tips that might be able to help anyone dealing with sleep issues. I’ve heard since COVID many people have been experiencing insomnia and I believe it’s due to stress, and being home all day every day, you tend to get lost in the day in the week and your body doesn’t know what to do because you used to use all your energy at work/school and if you’re working from home, you’re not as active your body. So I do recognize that outside of menopause women are experiencing insomnia in high numbers and based off my tips you might be able to pin point where some of your issues could be coming from.
1. Hormone Check: I think it would be beneficial to get your hormone levels checked with your primary care physician. Regardless of menopause or not. Hormonal imbalance can be the cause of so many medical conditions including insomnia.
2. Shower/Bath: Unwinding from a long day starts with a nice lukewarm shower or bath which ever you prefer. A great tip is to purchase some eucalyptus and hang it in your shower, when you shower the steam will induce the scent. Eucalyptus has a calming effect and also helps with breathing.
3. Essential oils: Before I begin please understand that you must use essential oils with discretion please read labels and get pure grade essential oils to use in your diffuser. That being said, Lavender is my FAVORITE essential oil that relaxes me and helps me to fall asleep. If I don’t have on my diffuser, I sprinkle the oil on my pillow.
4. Turn it off: Listen I know how it can be when you get in the bed you have your phone playing a game or scrolling through social media or buying items from amazon all of this while the television is playing in the background. All of that stimulation and blue light that is emitted from the screens can interrupt the brain’s production of melatonin which makes it harder to go to sleep.
5. Tea: Although this may not be the best choice if you are a woman experiencing menopause, but it does help maybe making a lukewarm or iced tea
· Valerian Root
6. Sound: I’ve started incorporating this into my sleep routine and I LOVE it. There are apps that play light instrumentals for sleeping, you may have a play list of your own, I use YouTube
· “8 Hour Peaceful & Relaxation music: Time with Holy Spirit| Meditation Music | Alone with God” by Dappy TKeys Piano Worship
· Sounds of the rain forest
Choose what works for you.
7. Sleep Mask: I find the sleep mask a great help to me because I have my TV on some of the videos, I use don’t have a blackout screen.
8. Pajamas: Dress comfortable, again this may only apply to my menopausal sisters because we tend to overheat more at night.
9. Temperature: This is a big one for me and I’m sure it is for my menopausal sisters. I suggest dropping the A/C as low as you can afford.
10. Sleep Aids: Often time insomnia can be too much to handle on your own and there comes a time when you might need some help. Consider speaking with a doctor about your options for sleep aids such as melatonin which is a natural supplement. If you are menopausal and on hormone replacement therapy you can discuss the dosage, and if you’re no on hormone replacement therapy discuss options with your doctor and don’t forget to do your own research.
I hope that these tips can help you get a goodnights rest. I’m sure there are other things that you can use to help you sleep. Try to keep yourself on a schedule if you can, and remember that sleep time is about relaxing.
Cho, Na Young BA; Kim, Soriul PhD; Nowakowski, Sara PhD; Shin, Chol MD, PhD; Suh, Sooyeon PhD (2019). Sleep disturbance in women who undergo surgical menopause compared with women who experience natural menopause. The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.