Sleep is good for you! Keeping your life under control while experiencing poor sleep, memory problems, hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, and other unpleasant menopause challenges is hard enough. Add to that the stress and “must dos” of the Holiday season and you may want to get under the bed and resurface on December 26th, or go on a vacation by yourself.
I’ve been there! But I’ve learned some useful strategies not only to survive but also to thrive and enjoy the holidays that I want to share with you:
Menopause Tips – How to Thrive in the Holidays
#10 SLEEP – As much as you can
During menopause many women report difficulty sleeping: trouble falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep, and waking up early.
I’ve been able to sleep well even though I wake up every night with a hot flash. I am able to go right back to sleep. If you want to know how I do it, contact me.
Lack of sleep can make you even more stressed, depressed, and grumpy during this demanding Holiday season. Sleep is good for you!
If you can’t get a good night’s sleep, then NAP. Napping is healthy. Take a short nap, 15-20 minutes. A longer one may not make you more energetic, in fact it may make you sluggish. Nap after lunch, but before 3 PM so as not to disrupt your night’s sleep, and you’ll get a second wind. It works like magic. You can read more about “Napping: Do’s and don’ts for healthy adults” here.
If you are well-rested you are less likely to feel the need to fill up on caffeine and eat sugary treats. That’s another reason why sleep is good for you.
When you are well rested you are more likely to cope with the demands put on you during the busy festive season.
Here are some more tips for a better sleep:
Don’t drink caffeine past 2 PM. Caffeine can linger in your body for up to 8 hours.
Don’t drink alcohol close to bedtime, it disrupts your sleep and cuts down the amount of deep, restful sleep you’ll get.
Don’ watch TV mindlessly – go to bed early. The most restful sleep happens early in the night. Aim to be in bed by 10 PM.
Don’t look at screens at least one hour before bed. The blue light decreases your levels of melatonin, tricking your body into thinking that it’s not time to sleep.
Get a bedtime routine that allows you to relax and stretch before bed. Brains don’t have an on and off switch. Our brain doesn’t shut off automatically at bedtime after a long and busy day when we reach a certain age. We need a bit of time before bed to “dim the lights” in our brain before falling asleep. This is a routine that works for me. I get my exercise mat on the floor and do some easy yoga – some back, neck, and leg stretching listening to calming music. That slows down my brain.
Take a warm shower before bed. It helps to cool you down and you’ll fall asleep faster.
Drinking a glass of milk sweetened with honey increases levels of tryptophan and helps you fall asleep (and the calcium is good for your bones). But at least 3 hours before bedtime. That should be the cut off to ingesting any liquids to prevent getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
Magnesium at bedtime helps you sleep. Ask your pharmacist, or contact me, to learn if it is safe for you and how much you should take.
Sleep in a quiet, dark, and cool room.
If you missed the earlier tips (or just want to read them again), you can find them on my blog:
Teresa Isabel Dias is a pharmacist and a menopause practitioner (NCMP) certified by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), she lives in Toronto but all her services are available online – one-on-one consultations, live workshops, and webinars. Sign up for her free biweekly MenopausED Newsletter www.menopaused.org to learn more about menopause and women’s health.