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Apr 12 2013

Sleep Disorders in Menopause

Published by at 7:02 am under Menopause

One of the most difficult experiences during the time of menopause, apart from hot flashes and weight gain is probably sleep problems during this time. What makes sleep disorders so difficult to deal with is that many women are still working during these years and waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep after waking up means that working and even functioning during the day becomes more difficult. Lack of sleep is not only bad for your health, your weight, it also contributes to lower performance on the job and memory problems. Walking around in a brain fog the next day is not fun.

Some people in menopause will have difficulty falling asleep at night, but this is less common than the problem of waking during the early morning hours and not able to return to sleep. Of course, this is all attributable to hormone imbalance. Achieving hormone balance will cure the problem. The first step is to test hormone levels, but there are some things you can take to encourage falling asleep for the rest of the night.  Have your doctor order a full hormone panel for you – either a blood or a saliva test (saliva testing is more accurate.  If you are waking up during the night and unable to get back to sleep, most likely you are short of estrogen or DHEA with raised cortisol levels due to chronic stress. Also, you should work on managing your stress levels if this is a problem, learn to pursue relaxation and meditation if you know this is an issue.

Two natural solutions available at the health store or buy direct from Amazon to deal with sleep problems are calcium magnesium drink powder and melatonin. There is no need to take these together. Try both products one at a time and see what works best for you. You can experiment with melatonin – beginning with a 3 mg dose. However, you may find that you need a higher dose. It also comes in 5 mg., 10 mg and 20 mg. You could also try the delayed release melatonin if you don’t have a problem falling asleep and only have trouble staying asleep. Suzanne Somers says that she takes a 20 mg dose and she sleeps a full eight hours a night with melatonin. Melatonin, by the way is one of the hormones we lose as we grow older. Little children have lots of melatonin – that is why they sleep so well. There are many health benefits to supplementing with natural melatonin, which we won’t go in to here in this posting.

If melatonin is not working for you, try calcium citrate powder.  This is another natural solution you can either buy on Amazon or else at your local health store.  Our favorite is Peter Gillham’s Natural Vitality Natural Calm.  About a half hour before bedtime, mix up a teaspoon full of the powder and add to an 8 ounce glass of water.  You should sleep like a baby.  Adjust the dose – take one or two teaspoons – if two teaspoons give you diarrhea, reduce the amount you take.  Calcium citrate powder is good for you, Peter Gillham’s Natural Calm – is a natural solution to sleep problems.

In addition to the above solutions for sleep disorders in menopause, ensure that you relax before you go to bed. Take a warm bath and don’t drink caffeinated beverages after 3:00 in the afternoon. Make sure that you sleep in total darkness, blacking out nightlights and lights from your radio alarm clock. A few yoga exercises to stretch and de-stress before bedtime is also something that will promote healthy sleep. If you still experience difficulty sleeping after trying all of the above solutions, it’s time to go back to the doctor and discuss in depth you symptoms and the solutions you’ve already tried.

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