One thing I never realized until I became a parent is that, for me, parenting affected the quality of my sleep. From the first night I brought Junior home, I became attuned to every little noise he made. I'm still attuned to my kids' voices and now, with menopausal hot flashes waking me up every night, I sometimes don't get much sleep at all. Recently, I discovered several things that actually help me get the number of hours of rest that I need to function. Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This is just stuff that works for me. Please talk to your doctor before taking any herbal supplements.
Tip 1: Time your caffeine intake. Menopause does tricky things to your body including influencing how certain substances, like caffeine, affect it. I've found that drinking any kind of beverage containing this stimulant after 12 p.m. influences my sleep. Thus, after noon, I switch to seltzer, water, or decaf green tea. For more on caffeine and what it does to your brain, visit this article.
Tip 2: Stop all electronics and television use an hour or two before bed. The blue light from your phone and tablet negatively influence your sleep (for more on that, click on this article from Harvard Health. This was hard for me, but it helped.
Tip 3: Read a book. It relaxes the nerves and calms the mind. (For more on the benefits of sleep before bed, click here.)
Tip 4: Cultivate a sense of gratitude. Instead of worrying at night, I mentally list all of the things I'm thankful for. It relaxes me and gives me a sense of peace.
STOP ALL ELECTRONICS AND TELEVISION USE AN HOUR OR TWO BEFORE BED.
Tip 5: Sleep in a cool room with some type of white noise. Your body needs to cool down in order to fall asleep and stay asleep. I use a fan which not only helps with the hot flashes, but fills the room with a nice, calming hum. I also use my Chillow when I have hot flashes (to read my review of the Chillow, click here.
Tip 6: Consider melatonin. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I sometimes use a low dose of melatonin with the blessing of my doctor. It helps me go back to sleep and doesn't leave me with the grogginess in the morning that over-the-counter medications did. For more on melatonin, click here.
Tip 7: Clean your room. I'd heard that de-cluttering helped, but since I'm not the tidiest person, didn't believe it. Yesterday I actually did it and WOW! It did help! I look at my dresser and feel like I'm in a hotel. Apparently looking at the mess caused some stress. Now, no mess, less stress.
Tip 8: If you can't fall asleep or back to sleep in about 15 minutes or so, get out of the bed and go somewhere peaceful to read.
Studies have proven the incredible benefits of sleep. It's essential to health and mood. If you can't sleep, try some of the above. They're working for me!
DO YOU HAVE ANY SLEEP TIPS? I'D LOVE TO HEAR THEM!
Thanks for reading!