Insomnia during menopause

Many women have trouble sleeping during the menopause. Here I list some natural ways for you to improve your sleep during menopause. Homeopathic remedies can help to deal with insomnia.

Insomnia is a very common symptom of menopause, but may not always be recognised as such. Sleep changes include difficulty going to sleep or falling asleep quickly only to spring wide-awake several times a night.

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What causes insomnia during menopause?

Some of the wakings can be linked to menopausal symptoms. Anxiety and worry can prevent us from getting to sleep, and when we finally get to nod off hot flushes can wake us again. Our sleep may also be disturbed by having to get up during the night to go to the toilet. It is also common to wake in the early hours of the morning, particularly if we go to sleep in an anxious state of mind with worries and concerns.  Women often say that they can put up with night sweats, but they can’t cope with the lack of sleep. This continuous lack of sleep can lead to fatigue or depression.

Some sleep problems may be related to the fact that perimenopause, like adolescence, is a time of transition in sleep patterns. Typically, this changes again after menopause, when we tend to need less sleep than during our 20s and 30s. Some women find daytime naps help during the transition.

Try these simple steps to improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep:

  • If night sweats are the main cause of your night time waking then the first thing to do is to try to reduce or eliminate night sweats.
  • Avoid all caffeine, not just at night but during the day as well. Use calming herbal teas such as chamomile and lemon and ginger to relax your mind. 
  • You may need to improve your sleeping environment. Many people realise that their mattress has lost support and needs to be replaced. Don’t forget that you spend one-third of your life in bed! Most mattresses need to be replaced at least every 10 years. Maybe indulge in some nice new bed linen.  Make sure that your bed is a glorious haven! Go for natural fibers and avoiding fire-retardant materials. Invest in blinds or curtains that are blocking the outside light completely.
  • Look to make changes in diet and nutrition. Eat plenty of lean protein, green vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. Eat early in the evening and ideally don’t eat after 6 pm. If your digestion is working properly, you will sleep better.
  • Develop good pre-sleeping habits:  a regular sleeping ritual each evening helps set the tone for good sleep.  Don’t surf the web or read, watch, or listen to anything that might be disturbing or thought-provoking before bedtime.  Avoid stressful discussions or difficult phone calls in the evenings. Spend time relaxing before going to bed – this helps to stop the mind from buzzing and we are less likely to be kept awake by stressful thought patterns and their effect on our adrenal glands.
  • Use your bedroom only for sleeping and making love.
  • If you are waking during the night and feeling anxious try to anticipate this problem by writing down worries that are on your mind. Make a list of things you need to do the next day before you go to bed, and then try and forget them. This will help you calm down and means that you do not have everything rushing around in your mind as you try to go to sleep.
  • Consider using herbal tinctures such as Avena Sativa, best taken in warm water before bedtime. Alternatives include Valerian and Passiflora, and they all help to re-establish a good sleeping pattern.
  • Meditate or listen to some guided meditations.
  • Sleep on Silk or other natural materials.
  • Try to reduce the electromagnetic field and other forms of radiation caused by wireless devices and smart meters. You can switch off the wifi at night and use grounding mats or sheets on your bed. Keep your mobile phone away from your bedroom or in a flight mode.
  • Do not practice vigorous exercising late in the evening. More gentle exercises like yoga and pilates are OK.
  • Magnesium is important for good sleep. Try having an Epsom salt bath or foot soak in the evening. Adding food rich on magnesium to your diet can be useful too.

Homeopathic remedies for Insomnia

When someone often wakes up sud­denly, usually from an anxiety dream, feeling hot with a sweaty head, then Silica may help. Others who also wake up with their head bathed in perspira­tion, especially if prone to be overweight, and who suffer from cold feet, may ben­efit from Calcarea carbonica. By con­trast, people who wake with hot feet, who feel that the bed has become too hot so that it makes them itchy and irri­table, may be helped by Sulphur.

Waking from the least background noise is suggestive of a need for Coffea. The person needing Caffea has heightened sensitivity and inabil­ity to get into the deeper stages of sleep. Asarum also helps when any noise wak­ens the sleeper, especially if they have great sensitivity to any noise during the day. Insomnia after over-indulgence in stimulants, food, drink or after over­exerting oneself late in the day may indi­cate Nux vomica. Bach flower remedies can be used for insomnia as well. Information about homeopathic remedies for insomnia you can find here. Homeopathic melatonin may be useful to balance this hormone if the problem is staying asleep. In some cases, homeopathic progesterone may be prescribed to help rebalance the hormones during menopause. Read more for homeopathic remedies for insomnia.

For best results and an individualised treatment of your menopausal symptoms, I recommend that you consult a qualified homeopath.

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