Six Tips for a Good Night's Sleep During Menopause
Menopause is a significant stage in a woman's life, which often comes with a set of challenges, one of which is sleep problems. Insomnia during menopause can be attributed, in part, to changing levels in oestrogen, but also to bedtime habits, like working late or using electronic devices and inconsistent sleep schedules which can further hinder the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. To make matters worse, hot flushes and night sweats can often wake women up in the middle of the night.
To help you improve your sleep during menopause, here are six practical tips you can use:
- Reset Your Circadian Cycle: Establish a consistent wake-up time and expose your eyes to sunlight in the morning for at least 15 minutes without wearing sunglasses. This can help reset your body's internal clock.
- Mental Download: Dedicate 10-15 minutes each day, 2-3 hours before bedtime, for a "mental download." Use this time to briefly jot down on paper any worries or tasks that typically come to mind at night. Check the list the following day to see if these concerns are resolved or require your attention. If they don't, let them go.
- Avoid Alcohol: Limit or avoid alcohol consumption in the evening, as it can disrupt your sleep quality and interfere with your brain's ability to recharge during the night.
- Set a Bedtime Alarm: Just as you set an alarm to wake up, set one to remind yourself to go to bed at a consistent time. This can help establish a healthy bedtime routine.
- Stop Checking the Time: If you wake up in the middle of the night, resist the urge to check the clock. Instead, tell yourself, "It's sleep time." Focus on your breath while working on relaxing every part of your body, from head to toe.
- Practice Acceptance: If you're awake in the middle of the night for more than 15 minutes, focus on resting and enjoying the comfort of your bed. Avoid struggling and judgment; instead, accept your experience. Shifting towards an attitude of acceptance can disrupt the cycle of insomnia.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has a strong track record in improving sleep. There are two forms of CBT recognised as effective treatments for insomnia during menopause:
- CBTi (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia) helps with sleep problems by addressing and modifying the negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to insomnia, ultimately promoting healthier sleep patterns and reducing insomnia symptoms. It empowers individuals to develop more effective strategies for managing their sleep-related concerns, leading to improved sleep quality.
- ACTi (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Insomnia) aids in managing sleep problems during menopause by fostering an attitude of acceptance towards sleep difficulties. It helps individuals acknowledge and embrace the challenges posed by hormonal changes, hot flashes, and night sweats, reducing emotional distress and resistance to these natural occurrences. By doing so, ACTi enables individuals to let go of the struggle and improve their ability to fall asleep, ultimately leading to more restful nights.
By incorporating the strategies described above and considering therapeutic approaches like CBTi or ACTi, you can improve your sleep, ultimately enhancing your wellbeing during this transformative stage of life.
Ready to conquer your menopause-related challenges and get back your glow? Reach out to us today and start the journey to a happier and healthier you. We're here to support you every step of the way!
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Content Disclaimer:The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Menopause CBT Clinic® disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.
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