To be frank, Menopause is not fun. Menopause also leads to sleep problems including insomnia, as if the hot flashes and mood swings were not sufficient.
If you are getting the quality of sleep you want or if you find it difficult to sleep, a weighted blanket can help. Here is how blankets work, and how one may help you feel less stressed and more comfortable.
How Menopause Affects Sleep?
Dr. Joyce Walsleben from National Sleep Foundation concluded that menopause might affect sleep in four different ways.
1. Changes in Hormones
Dr. Walsleben points out that menopause causes a gradual decrease in progesterone and estrogen, both of which promote sleep. Women may experience difficulty in sleep since the body makes less of these hormones.
She also added that low estrogen levels could be a higher risk for women for being affected by stress and its not just about bad day stress at work, either. Environmental stress (the room temperature, any background noise or lighting) may also suddenly become a cause as it never was before. Habitually, women will attempt hormone replacement therapy with the advice of their physician
2. Hot Flashes
Surges cause hot flashes in adrenaline, which may rouse the mind from a sleeping state. This is the reason why women who feel hot flashes also suffer from insomnia.
In addition to that, lots of people have difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep when they are too hot. However, it can be hard to fall asleep, if the uncomfortable temperatures are coming out of your body instead of an outside source.
3. Mood Swings
Approximately 20 percent of menopausal women experience depression and/or anxiousness. These changes in mood might lead to insomnia and can have a significant effect on sleep. This can produce something of a vicious cycle effect, as depression may make a person more vulnerable to sleep disturbances and insomnia.
4. Social Changes
Although not every female who undergoes menopause experiences associated with social change, Dr. Walsleben points out that menopause can occasionally coincide with other substantial changes in a female’s life.
For example, children leaving home can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Women might be considering retirement as they near menopause. Any of these things can take a toll on a person’s sleep patterns, which may result in broken sleep and sleeplessness.
credit: Dr. Anna Garrett
5 Easy Options To Improve Sleep
If menopause is resisting you from getting a good night’s rest or preventing you, there are quite a few things you can adapt to make falling asleep more comfortable and more relaxing.
1. Get More Exercise
We know, everyone must get more exercise. While exercise is not a cure-all for each ailment, study shows it can alleviate the symptoms of menopause and thus insomnia.
According to a Study of Northwestern University, Women over age 55 who exercised four times a week said they experienced improvements in sleep compared to who did not.
Just like any form of exercise, it’s essential to consult a physician before beginning a workout regimen or routine. Experts say you should stop any strenuous activity at least three hours before going to sleep.
2. Cut Back on Caffeine
Are you a dedicated java drinker? Studies show it might be exacerbating your sleep difficulties. Caffeine is a stimulant and researchers say it may make hot flashes frequently. Experts say to adhere to the early morning for your everyday cup of Joe if you have to drink it.
3. Cool Down Town
Most people sleep in colder temperatures. Sleep experts say you may want to reduce the thermostat if you suffer from hot flashes or night sweats. Additionally, it helps to sleep on natural substances, such as cotton, which helps keep your body cooler.
According to Dr. Michael J. Breus, the most favorable room temperature for people at night is 65 degrees. Experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine advise keeping a glass or a pack of ice water near the bed so that you can cool down in the case you need it,
4. Create a Bedtime Routine (and Keep it up!)
When most people think of bedtime, their thoughts conjure a picture of a parent reading their child a story after a cup of milk or a warm bath. But bedtime routines can work well for adults. You should not be too set in your ways to ditch bad habits and embrace new ones.
According to the National Foundation, a sleep routine can help signal your brain that it is time to sleep. Some ideas for developing a bedtime routine include doing meditation or some light exercise before bed, taking a warm (with not too hot water) bath or reading a novel as you prepare to sleep.
Additionally, it is best to prevent any actions that expose you to light, like watching television or using a pc or a Smartphone.
5. Use a Weighted Blanket
If you have sleep problems due to Menopause, a blanket may help you sleep and relax better. Blankets provide gentle pressure on the body, which has been proven to make people feel more relaxed and less stressed. This weight is a kind of pressure called deep pressure touch stimulation.
According to a study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders, the application of pressure that is deep, through for example weighted blankets and vests has been stated to provide a calming and relaxing effect. The analysis revealed that people who sleep with a weighted blanket had a night of better sleep and woke up feeling refreshed in the morning.