Night sweats and menopause related sleep problems are really common and although I am much better than I was in the early stages of peri menopause, I am still keen to understand 'how can I sleep better during menopause' both in terms of quality and quantity of sleep. And do we really understand the huge benefits of sleep? Other than sleep simply makes us feel better?! So what to do when you can't sleep, when you suffer with the can't sleep anxiety?
Dr. Marilyn Glenville PhD is the UK's leading nutritionist and a best-selling author specialising in women's health. She is also the former President of the Food and Health Forum at the Royal Society of Medicine, psychologist and popular broadcaster who obtained her doctorate from Cambridge University.
On Tuesday 22nd June from 7 pm to 9 pm Marilyn is hosting a webinar entitled 'Sleep - why is it so important and how to improve sleep quality and quantity' to show us how to get a good nights sleep including recommendations on what to eat, what to avoid, lifestyle changes and specific nutrients and botanicals to support your best sleep! And readers of Fifty & Fab can get a huge 50% off the ticket price - making this webinar really affordable at just £13.50.
This is a sponsored blog post.
Things to do when you can't sleep
Prior to the webinar I asked Marilyn a few questions about sleep ...
Can you explain why sleep is so important for weight loss?
Research has shown that if you don’t get a good amount of sleep (six to eight hours a night is ideal), your hunger hormone ghrelin is over-produced and leptin levels, which suppress your appetite, are decreased. A huge study of 70,000 women followed over 16 years found that those who slept less than 5 hours a night gained more weight over time than those who slept for 7 hours a night. I will show you how to time your food for the best benefits for not only sleep but also weight loss in my Sleep webinar, see below for details.
Are there any food/drinks should I avoid during the day to stop me waking up in the night for a wee?
I would be careful of having too many stimulants particularly past midday. These include chocolate, caffeinated soft drinks and caffeinated teas and coffee. The effect will be to rev you up when you want your body to calm down ready to switch off for the night. But they will also affect your blood sugar level and can cause you to wake up in the night but because they also act like a mild diuretic, they can make you want to pass urine. Other tips are to avoid too much fluid intake about 4-6 hours before bed and make sure you empty your bladder before bed.
How long does it really take to fall asleep?
It should take about 10-20 minutes to fall asleep but many people are tired but wired where you can be exhausted and yet your mind does not allow you to switch off. You need a good sleep routine to help you get off to sleep quickly and I will cover practical tips during my Sleep webinar on Tuesday 22nd June (see below for details). See also below for helpful nutrients and herbs to help you get off to sleep quickly.
If you can’t sleep is it really better to get up, leave the bedroom, read for a bit for example, before trying again?
It is definitely better to get up and leave the bedroom if you are lying awake for long periods of time. You want your brain to associate your bedroom as a place to sleep, not lying awake tossing and turning.
Are there any supplements that we should be taking to help with our sleep?
When you want to get to sleep quickly and sleep well throughout the night then a good combination of natural ingredients including magnesium can help. Valerian reduces the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and also improves the quality of that sleep. Hops have a natural sedative effect and a long history in helping to improve sleep. Research has shown that both valerian and hops can reduce restlessness and anxiety. L- theanine is important to help your brain ‘switch off’ when going to sleep. Other herbs such as chamomile, passionflower, skullcap and lemon balm are known for their sleep inducing effects. And tart cherries have been shown to increase sleep time in people with insomnia by up to 84 minutes. The sleep supplement I use in the clinic is by NHP and is called Sleep Support and contains all the nutrients and herbs mentioned.
Do you have can't sleep anxiety?
At the webinar Marilyn (left) will be joined by Dr Nerina Ramlakahn (right) who has worked as a professional physiologist and sleep expert for 25 years.
The webinar has been designed especially for women who struggle with their sleep and it is a wonderful opportunity to really get to grips with sleep habits, why we are having problems sleeping, to understand what we can do to help ourselves and make small lifestyle changes for big impact.
The webinar will be recorded so if you buy a ticket but are unable to join live on Tuesday evening you can still catch up. And if you submit a question that cannot be answered immediately then Marilyn and her team will get back to you with a personalised reply after the webinar.
How can I sleep better during menopause?
My own experience with insomnia is long and varied! I've never been the best of sleepers but it really became a problem when my son was young and I suppose I got out of routine. I remember feeling so tired on some days I'd get really dizzy and it made my feel so unwell. I also went through a period of anxiety and mild depression so eventually started taking an anti-depressant medication with the main aim to help my anxiety and improve my sleep.
Then peri menopause arrived and the insomnia returned, along with restless leg syndrome, night sweats and anxiety. I also suffer with 'pins and needles' in my hands and sometimes my arms at night. Taking HRT has really helped me and mostly I sleep well now and the night sweats (with the help of a wool duvet) are no longer an issue. But the slightest change in routine brings the insomnia back and I am particularly bad on holiday or after a night out - alcohol really is a no no but I don't abstain completely, I still believe in balance.
I have to be very strict with myself on a normal night and less screen time, routine, a cool bedroom, a warm bath, not too much TV etc are essential. I also take a magnesium supplement which I find very useful and I know Marilyn is going to talk about this in more detail at the webinar.
I'd love you to join me at the webinar on Tuesday, I am really looking forward to it, you can book here for the special price of just £13.50 which really is excellent value - and you can join live or on catch-up.
Disclaimer: this is a sponsored blog post but the words and opinions are all my own.
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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