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Fatigue & Insomnia in Menopause

menopause May 31, 2022
Fatigue & Insomnia in Menopause

There’s a saying, a good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for everything, and we would say they’re on the money. Who doesn’t love a good laugh and a sleep– preferably not at the same time though, that would be weird!

Hormone Changes Effect Your Sleep

Remember progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone all decrease in the lead up and after menopause. 

  • Progesterone This hormone has a natural calming effect on the nervous system, it’s a natural anti-anxiety medication and has a direct sedative effect. 
  • Oestrogen helps to assist in serotonin (relaxing hormone) metabolism, increases REM (deep dream) sleep and helps to decrease the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and how many times you wake in the night, aiding in sleep quantity and quality. It also helps to regulate cortisol spikes, so when it decreases the spikes are more sensitive to small stressors like light and noise. 

What Can I Do About My Sleep?

It’s all about balancing your oestrogen and progesterone.

  • Lifestyle and natural phyto-oestrogens There are several ways to help balance your hormones to be able to breeze through your menopause transition (yes that is possible).
    1.  Cut down on alcohol consumption. You don’t have to give it up completely but having as many alcohol free days as you can, and limiting to no more than 2 std in 1 night is a great place to start.
    2. Prioritise sleep, many of my patient struggle with sleep due to hot flashes or their partner snoring. My advice is to get your partner some help with their snoring, wear ear plugs or move to another room. Also having a cold shower before bed and getting plenty of phyto-oestrogens can help with the hot flashes. Also practicing box breathing has been shown to decrease hot flashes by up to 30% (in for 4 secs, hold for 4secs, out for 4 secs and repeat).
    3. Get plenty of phyto-oestrogens in your diet. Two great sources are our ‘Girl Powder recipe’ and Purifica Muricaa capsule made from a Thai herb that is well known to help with menopausal symptoms. 
    4. Strength training by lifting weights at least twice a weak for 45 mins helps to balance your blood sugars
    5. Avoiding refined carbohydrates and upping your protein intake to 50g a day.
  • Medical HRT or Bio-identical hormones Hormone replacement can take many different forms (creams, pessary, patches, pellets, injections or oral medications, they also come in many different types from synthetic oestrogens, progesterones and androgens) Speak to your doctor about with form is best for you; this will depend on factors such as, if you still have your uterus, your age and your main symptoms of concern. 
  • Decrease your stress You will probably notice that your hot flashes are more frequent of sever in times of stress, this is because our adrenaline is increased and our internal hormones shift towards making our stress hormone (cortisol) and away from our temperature regulating ones. We recommend doing the SD Protocol to conquer your stress. 
  • Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate This juice is high in melatonin and also has anti-inflammatory properties.

References

Fritz, M. and Speroff, L., 2010. Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology And Infertility. 8th ed. Lipponcott Wilkins & Williams.

Harlow, B. L., & Signorello, L. B. (2000). Factors associated with early menopause. Maturitas, 35(1), 3–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0378-5122(00)00092-x

Northrup, C. 2020. Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. 5th ed. Batman House, Penguin Random House Books.

Sims, S. 2016. Roar. Rodale Inc. 

Urasopon, N., Hamada, Y., Cherdshewasart, W., & Malaivijitnond, S. (2008). Preventive effects of Pueraria mirifica on bone loss in ovariectomized rats. Maturitas, 59(2), 137–148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2008.01.001

 

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