Did you know today is World Sleep Day, as I said last week there is nearly a day for everything but I LOVE sleep. In my college days I most definitely did not adhere or understand the importance of a sleep routine but with years comes wisdom I guess!
A good nights sleep is imperative in Perimenopause, without it the next day can be so hard and your body will not be happy with you for not giving it the rest it needs to restore itself after a busy day. I'm not a late owl, I'm definitely a morning person and more so now than when I was younger - I also find those mornings at the weekend when I sleep in that bit longer I feel much groggier for awhile and it takes me longer to wake up. Conversely, those Sunday mornings when I'm up early and off for a run my body is buzzing and I'm flying for the day - our bodies love routine, they love the rhythm of routine and knowing the same amount of sleep comes at the end of every day. Yes this can be boring and yes we can't do it every night but if you can aim for it most nights your body will thank you. I love nothing more than an early night with a good book and knowing I have many hours ahead of luscious sleep.
Some Top Sleep Tips :
💖Use breathing techniques to help you drift off to sleep
💖If you are experiencing night sweats or feel sticky have a quick shower before bedtime, it will always make you feel better.
💖Research Valerian and passionflower, these two herbs can be very helpful
💖Practice good sleep hygiene:
o Electronics free zone
o Keep the room as dark and cold as possible
o Exercise during the day, not last thing at night
o A regular bedtime and wake time
o Declutter your bedroom. Take the time to do this a clutter-free room will immediately lead to a calmer mind.
o Do not look at your phone, or iPad the last thing at night
o If you worry during the night, use the Special Worry Time technique - see below.
o Avoid caffeine, alcohol in the late afternoon and evening.
Sleep Hygiene - once you investigate and understand possible causes for your insomnia make a plan to tackle it, firstly sleep hygiene:
💜 Avoid caffeine after 1pm
💜 Aim for 30 minutes of exercise daily but avoid exercising too close to bedtime
💜 Keep a daily consultant wake up time - I know if I sleep in at the weekend it totally goes against me, I always feel more tired 😴
💜 Don't over nap during the day if you can avoid it
💜 No heavy meals after 8pm
💜 practice relaxation exercises, check out any of the breathing exercises I have talked about before
💜 No phone or screen at least 30 minutes ideally an hour before you go to bed, remember it weakens the brain
💜 Keep your room dark and cool
For night sweats & flushes
💖 Wear light night clothes
💖 Check your bedding, very often people don't realise but their bedding can be making things worse...
💖 Keep a cool room
💖Accept the symptoms, resistance is exhausting, you will make progress by accepting what is going on in your body and look to find ways to relieve it.
Don't underestimates the power of cortisol and the importance of good sleep hygiene here.😴
'A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow' so wrote Charlotte Bronte.
No wiser words, insomnia is all too common whether it's perimenopause or not, physical symptoms or emotional symptoms are generally the reasons behind interrupted sleep. It can be hot flushes, night sweats, waking for the bathroom etc but the more common or underlying reason is stress and anxiety. We have talked about the importance of the liver and this comes into play big time in sleep....cortisol is the stress hormone that works on the liver and the pancreas to maintain glucose levels, it is generally higher in the morning and lower at night time - if your cortisol levels are high at night time it has a direct impact on your body functions and your sleep. The liver will be overworking when it should be recovering, R.E.M. Sleep will be elusive - simply put your body can't relax because its getting signals to keep it alert. We all know it's hard to relax if your worried and a vicious cycle sets in - this is why sleep hygiene is VITAL.
Firstly look at what is waking you up - if it's 'a ruffled mind', night sweats etc - look for the symptom and then start to dig deeper......in my view it always comes back to stress. Also look at the time your waking - here's a brief summary:
11-1am - Gallbladder, at this time generally cholesterol is being processed and the body preparing for deeper sleep. Your overnight detox starts
1-3am - Liver - starts its work filtering toxins from the blood, deep sleep if all is going well
3-5am - Lungs - the lungs are working and are responsible for 70% of body toxins being released ! The lungs also work with the skin, threat and sinuses - so waking around this time can indicate an issue in one of these areas or you might wake with a scratchy throat if a cold is coming on.
5-7am - Large intestine - is now ready for release the body's overnight dermis through the bowels.
7-9am - Stomach time - I hope your up 😂 eat a good breakfast this is the best time for the largest meal of the day and lunchtime.
I think this provides a great resource if your struggling to find out why your waking, sleep is so important for our body to refresh and repair itself from the day.
Tune in next to see how to get a good nights sleep
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