Your Path to Menopause Relief

Fix Your Sleep

I’ve written about WHY women in midlife have trouble sleeping (and, unfortunately, just about every woman runs into this once or more in their menopause journey). I talked about HOW the various hormone imbalances that accompany menopause keep you from sleeping. You can take that assessment here.

Upcoming Sleep Events:

  • Workshop: "Help! My Hair's on Fire!" (and other reasons you don't sleep)
    Sunday, Nov 26th
    4pm ET/3pm CT
    2pm MT/1pm PT

    (register here!)

Here, I want to give you four basics that can help WHENEVER you are having sleep difficulties, regardless of the cause.

Intend to sleep:
The power of intention can be vastly underestimated. When you go to bed thinking, “This won’t work, I’ll be awake till 2, I’ll be exhausted at work tomorrow. This is awful. I hate this,” well, it’s no wonder you don’t sleep. But if you intend to fall asleep easily, sleep soundly, and fall back asleep if you do awaken, I promise, it will get easier. Maybe not right away, but if you don’t let yourself get discouraged, you’ll find that sleeping gets better.

Get a nighttime routine of calming down and stick to it!:

Research shows that calming down about an hour before bedtime helps you get to sleep faster and sleep more deeply. Try and go to sleep the same time each night, and start calming down about an hour before bedtime.

Then, turn off the TV, and use a timer if you play calming, quiet music. Don’t watch the news if it’s going to make you upset and Scream 3 is better watched on a Saturday afternoon than right before bed. This also applies to exercise. If the only time you seem to have for exercise is right before bedtime and you are having trouble sleeping, consider turning in when you’d normally exercise and then getting up earlier and do your workout.

Make the bedroom a special place:

The more you keep your time in bed for what beds are for, the less your subconscious thinks of the bed as a place to do things other than sleep and sex.

Reading and watching TV in bed COULD be keeping you from thinking of your bed as a restful place (for me, reading has ALWAYS been a nighttime ritual, but I’m more careful about WHAT I read). And if you combine your office and your bedroom, or work on a laptop in bed before you go to sleep, you may be tempting your mind to go back over the day’s work problems rather than relaxing.

Give over your worries:

For many women, we either worry at bedtime, worry when we wake up in the middle of the night or wake up early to gnaw on what we have to do that day.

Try this instead:

  • About an hour before bedtime, write down all the things that are worrying you. Relatives and friends who are ill. Children who are making bad choices. Money and job problems. Marital and friendship issues. Now, give them over to God or your higher power. Honestly, there isn’t anything you can do about these things tonight. If there was, you would have done it, right?

  • Now, make a list of 5 (or more) things you are grateful for. Make THIS the list you concentrate on as you fall asleep. Can’t think of 5 things? How about – tonight, you have a bed to sleep in. You have an Internet connection. You have a friend on your side (Hey, I’m on your side, even if everyone else in your life has deserted you!). There are stars in the heavens and the sun to give warmth to the earth. Surely, you can think of one more!

  • If you awaken at night, and start to worry, repeat these actions. If you wake up too early, repeat these actions.

  • If you awaken refreshed, but before your alarm clock, get up, and go spend the time doing something luxurious for yourself – a morning yoga routine, or start the coffee and add some cinnamon to it. Read a book by your favorite author or google the poetry of Robert Frost. ENJOY the early morning hour of solitude! But most of all, DON’T start on the daily routine of worry. There”s time enough for that AFTER breakfast.

Sleep is essential to our health, both physical and mental.

Without it, our bodies can’t recover from our daily activities and can’t make the hormones that keeps our daily cycles working smoothly. Without it, our minds can”t reorganize our daily experiences and begin to look like the aftermath of a hurricane, with everything displaced and unorganized. Sooner or later, even the power naps won’t help.

But, by beginning to establish a regular pattern of sleep habits, you’ll see yourself improving the quality of your sleep and noticing how much easier that makes your day!

Need more about how to get better sleep?

Join me for the next "Help! My Hair's on Fire! (and other reasons you don't sleep)" workshop. I hold these workshops live approximately monthly.

You can register for the next workshop by clicking the button below.

© 2023 Jeanne Andrus, The Menopause Guru®