As mothers, we have always placed so much importance on making sure our children get a good night’s sleep. We know that if they don’t, it affects their moods, behaviour, and ability to do well at school.
And yet, when it comes to ourselves, we so often neglect making sleep a priority. As adults, we need good quality (and sufficient quantity) of sleep every bit as much as kids do.
Just like our kiddos, it affects our moods, behaviour and ability to do well at work.
As we enter peri-menopause however, it becomes even more important as not enough sleep, or poor quality sleep, also affects our hormones.
Sleep is vital to hormone regulation, which in turn affects how you feel, and even your ability to maintain a healthy weight!
Apart from making you feel tired the next day, poor quality sleep over an extended period of time can have far-reaching effects on your health.
It has been associated with elevated blood sugar levels and impaired insulin reactivity. This can lead to reduced energy levels, mental fogginess and even episodes of light-headedness.
Infact, studies have shown that poor sleep patterns activate the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis which reduces your ability to cope with stress.
Hello mood swings!
So now you know why you need to sleep well, the next question is How?
Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrate foods in the evening.
Yes I know, I keep bringing up those pesky refined carbs!
That sweet fix you have before bed can drive your blood sugar levels (BSL) up through the night.
This is followed by a surge in insulin driving your BSL down very low.
This can then result in disturbed sleep levels if your BSL go into a hypoglycemic state.
If you do need a snack before bed, try something that is more protein and (healthy) fat based, rather than carbohydrate as they won’t have as big an impact on your blood sugar levels. My bliss ball recipe would be ideal.
Cut back on your alcohol intake.
Even though it feels like it’s helping you to relax, alcohol makes the liver work harder.
According to the Chinese body clock, the liver undertakes the majority of its daily detox activities between 1 am and 3 am as part of your daily circadian rhythms.
As your liver shifts into overdrive, it can also disturb your sleep.
A nice bath with epsom salts and lavender oil, maybe even in the gentle glow of candlelight, is a great way to unwind at the end of the day.
Perhaps try it with a glass of sparkling mineral water, a wedge of lime and a mint garnish in a beautiful champagne flute to really feel pampered.
Practice deep breathing exercises.
Deep diagphragmatic breathing is one of my personal favourites.
There are some fantastic apps out there to help you increase the depth and length of your breath to really help you hit that state of relaxation.
This one is great to do once you are tucked in bed with the lights out, just before you drift off to sleep.
Sleep loves routine.
It’s really important to go to bed, turn out the lights and then wake up and get up at the same time each day.
This helps your body get into a rhythm and set a habit of falling asleep and then waking up at regular times.
Also make sure that if your mobile phone is in the room, that it is switched to airplane mode.
Adequate sleep is essential for hormone regulation, immune function and a strong stress response.
Good quality sleep helps to reduce fatigue, improving your overall mood and general feeling of well-being.
Improving your sleep patterns can help to regulate a wide array of hormones, reduce anxiety, and improve your cognitive function, enabling you to perform better at work and play.
So why not try tweaking your night-time routine and see how much better you feel in a week or two.
For more hints and tips on regulating your hormones along your journey through Peri-Menopause, make sure you enter your details below and get a FREE copy of my ebook Get Your Life Back. Simple changes to gain energy and lose weight when peri-menopause is taking over your life.