Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Snoozing Through Menopause? Think Again | The menopause life and insomnia

The Menopause Life Now

Y'all, menopause has done a number on my sleep! I've always been what I call a bad sleeper, but menopause took my occasional insomnia and turned it into a nightly battle. Getting quality sleep went from tricky to downright impossible.

At first, it was rough. I'd be exhausted and ready to sleep, only for my mind to start reeling and my heart to go wild the second I try to close my eyes. I'd toss, turn, and hope for sleep to come...but nope. Morning would roll around and I'd feel completely wiped from my all-nighter. This went on for months.

Being so sleep deprived quickly caught up with me. I'd drag around in a fog, unable to focus or function. My mood took a nosedive and simple tasks suddenly felt hard as eff. I was desperate for some solid shut-eye, but Mr. Sandman kept ignoring my calls.

Over time, I learned to take the lack of sleep in stride and snooze whenever I could. Thank god I have a flexible work-from-home gig and wonderful hubby is super understanding, though he does get grumpy about how my menopause has ruined his sleep patterns as well. I started taking power naps to recharge and didn't force sleep if I wasn't feeling it. The insomnia sucks, but pushing it only makes it worse.

I also gave every natural remedy a go, with zero luck. Melatonin, magnesium, name it, I tried it. Big thank you to everyone who suggested things for me to try, but nothing worked. Sleep meds from my doctor worked at first, but then required higher doses. I tried that a couple of times, but I didn't like waking up feeling groggy and I have a high aversion to anything drug-assisted that I would become reliant upon. For now, just letting sleep happen naturally is what works best. Even if it's only a few hours a night!

My current routine is waking up in the morning, breakfast, work, etc., then a nap about 6pm (I know, so late!!) but if I try to nap earlier, I'm not tired enough to sleep. I wake up between 8pm and 9pm, and let me tell you, those 2 or 3 hours of sleep are solid and deep. Win! Then I read, do some odd jobs around the bedroom, nighttime skincare routine with hubby, and sleep when I'm finally tired enough to fall asleep. That's usually around 2am. At times, it's a little earlier, and occasionally, a little later. I've tried to get to sleep earlier, when I've known I would have an early or long day following, but I just end up sleeping like absolute rubbish, so I don't even try anymore cos I wake up tired, grumpy, and feeling like I have not slept at all.

If menopause has also turned you into a sleepless beast, you're not the only one! Here are some tips that have helped me:

  • Say bye to screens before bed. Read a book or listen to chill tunes instead. - I read, but I do it on my iPad, so that's still a screen.
  • Keep your room cool, dark and quiet - sleep perfection. - This has always been my norm.
  • Limit the caffeine and booze, which can mess with sleep. - I've always been sensitive to caffeine, so I almost never have any (I drink decaf), and since menopause kicked in, I've hardly had any adult beverages.
  • Have a regular pre-bedtime wind-down routine. - This doesn't actually work for me, but hey, it might work for you. I do have a sort of routine that's flexible. Like I said, I kinda just roll with it.
  • Try relaxing stuff like deep breathing, yoga, or guided meditation. - Not my thing, but it might work for you.
  • Only go to bed when you're truly tired. Don't force it. - YES!!! This! This is pretty much what I do.
  • Ask your doc about safe sleep aids if needed. - Again, not for me, but it might help you.
  • Be patient with yourself! Menopause is rough on sleep. This will pass. - Look, I'm still waiting on this one. Hubby keeps asking me when this is going to happen.

What about you - how do you deal with menopause and sleep struggles? Share your tips and communiserate (haha, see what I did there. Communicate + commiserate!! I **think** I'm funny!! 😂😂😂) with other sleepless sisters in our Facebook group! Nobody should have to battle insomnia alone. Together we can rest up!

Be well, and remember to be kind to yourself.


If you'd like to connect with other women on this journey, join our private Facebook group.

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