There are many factors that may be preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep, going through menopause doesn’t help. Sleep is incredibly important to our wellbeing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked sleep deprivation to chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and mental distress. If you are feeling irritable, sluggish, gaining weight your relationships are falling apart, you are experiencing a decrease in sexual desire and intimacy, then you need to make a good night’s sleep a priority. Sleep is a necessity for soul, brain & body. During deep sleep, your brain has time to go through all of the information it has taken in for the day, make sense of it, and retain it for future use. Every night, sleep helps repair and restore your body.
Consistent good night sleep will help you:
- Eat less & burn calories. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports people that had consistent full nights rest ate fewer calories and increased their metabolism.
- Get smarter. Every day we are being inundated with more and more information. Your brain requires sleep to sort through the information, learn your new dance routine, take in the new software program you are learning, or the speech you need to give. Want to perform better at work? Get some sleep.
- Have a brighter outlook. When you’re well rested, your stress levels fall, and your outlook is positive with increased energy throughout the day. A good night’s rest is a natural mood enhancer!
- Be healthier. Sleep helps restore sore muscles from a workout, repair skin tissue from injuries, and increase your immunity system to help fight colds.
- Make tough decisions. If you’re faced with some tough decisions, go to bed! Give your brain the time to help you systematically break down the pros and cons, and make the right decision.
- Increase sexual desire. Once you begin getting enough sleep, your energy will return, and according to the Journal of Sexual Medicine women that had 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night increased their sexual desire.
Three of the biggest culprits to disturbing a good night’s rest are light, noise and temperature.
- Light: We are at a point in our existence where the machines have taken over our lives. We stare at too many screens (phones, laptops, tablets) for too long. There is a dark side to the blue light! The light they emit are wreaking havoc on your circadian rhythms. Studies have shown that the blue light emitted from our phones, computer screens and energy efficient light bulbs can powerfully suppress the secretion of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland in the brain and helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Make sure your bedroom is sufficiently dark. Use darkout shades and lined curtains to help block any light.
- Noise: Your room is dark enough, you no longer look at any screens emitting blue light an hour before bed, but you’re still not sleeping well. Perhaps there is ambient noise disturbing your sleep. You can combat ambient noise with a pair of earplugs. Many have sworn by having a white noise machine.
- Temperature: The temperature in your room also effects your sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleep temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. A cool, dark, quiet room is the optimal room to sleep in, program your thermostat to decrease the temperature during the night hours.
For women in peri-menopause and menopause, the decrease in estrogen can also effect their sleep cycle. Hot flashes and night sweats can make a restful night’s sleep impossible. Talk to your doctor and discuss what can help you get back to sleep.
Create a Sleep Hygiene routine:
Ready to feel better? Become more productive? Have more energy for things and people you love? Here are some tips on how to create a sleep routine that will work for you every night and help you get a good night’s rest.
1. Put away your devices, turn them off and store them in a separate room.
2. Relax for approximately 30 minutes prior to turning in. Read a book (a real book, not on a device) or meditate.
3. Go to bed at the same time every night. Get up at the same time every morning. This will begin to train your body when it is time to rest. If you have a late night, keep to your regular waking schedule.
4. Be in bed only for sex or sleep. No watching tv, or scrolling on your electronic device. The blue light from these screens will disturb your brain waves, decrease your melatonin production, and make it harder to fall asleep.
5. Buy your bed comfortable sheets, pillow, and grab a pair of soft pajamas. Don’t sleep in clothes that you wear to work out or around the house. Make going to sleep a ritual you do for yourself for better health and wellbeing.
7. Make love! Having sex can release the day’s stress, and an orgasm helps relax the entire body!