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Understanding Sleep Problems During Perimenopause and How to Improve Them


Perimenopause, the transitional period leading up to menopause, brings with it a myriad of physical and emotional changes, one of the most frustrating being sleep disturbances. These sleep problems are often closely tied to hormonal imbalances, specifically fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone.

Understanding the connection between perimenopause and sleep issues, and learning effective strategies to mitigate these problems, can significantly improve overall well-being.


The Link Between Hormonal Changes and Sleep Problems


● Estrogen and Progesterone Fluctuations:


Estrogen plays a role in regulating mood and sleep patterns. During perimenopause, estrogen levels become erratic, leading to night sweats and hot flashes, which can disrupt sleep.


Progesterone has a calming effect on the body, promoting sleep. Reduced levels of progesterone can lead to insomnia and difficulty staying asleep.


● Melatonin Production:


Hormonal imbalances can affect the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep-wake cycles. Lower melatonin levels can result in poor sleep quality.


● Stress and Anxiety:


Hormonal changes can contribute to heightened stress and anxiety levels, which in turn can interfere with the ability to fall and stay asleep.


Common Sleep Issues


▪︎ Insomnia:


Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep is common. We may wake up frequently during the night and find it hard to go back to sleep.


▪︎ Night Sweats:


Sudden episodes of intense sweating at night can wake up as, making it hard to return to a restful state.


▪︎ Sleep Apnea:


The risk of developing sleep apnea increases during perimenopause due to changes in muscle tone around the airways, often exacerbated by weight gain.


Methods to improve the quality and length of sleep.


Regular Exercise:


Engaging in regular physical activity can improve sleep quality and reduce stress. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. It can be simple walk, but shopping is not counted! It must be rhythmic, constant, energetic march.


Healthy Diet:


A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help manage weight and stabilize blood sugar levels, promoting better sleep.

The best is eating the last meal two hours before bedtime!


Sleep Hygiene:


Establish a consistent sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Create a restful environment by keeping the bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. Comfortable mattress and good pillow is crucial.


Relaxation Techniques:


Practices such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress and promote relaxation before bedtime.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):


CBT can be particularly effective for insomnia, helping to change negative thought patterns and behaviors related to sleep.


Natural Remedies:


▪︎ Herbal Supplements:


Some women find relief with herbal supplements like black cohosh, valerian root, and melatonin. It's essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement.


▪︎ Acupuncture:


This traditional Chinese medicine practice has been shown to help some women reduce hot flashes and improve sleep quality.


▪︎ Aromatherapy


ESSENTIAL OILS FOR SLEEPING PROBLEMS:


Lavender – the queen of relaxation and tranquility


Roman and German chamomile - both have a strong calming and tension-relieving effect


Clary sage - works similarly to lavender, it is often recommended around menstruation, because massage of the lower abdomen with this oil (in dilution) not only relaxes, but also reduces cramps and pain in these areas


Bergamot - has a calming effect, but has a lot of light notes that improve the mood


Mandarin – alone or in combination with lavender and chamomile will be a great option


Sweet orange - the sweet, pleasant scent of orange will help you relax and fall asleep with a smile on your face


Frankincense – has a calming and grounding effect, great in mixtures or alone


Vetiver - as a base (grounding) note, it goes well with many oils, making the scent of the mixture more lasting and deep, and additionally has a relaxing effect on the mind and body


Ylang-ylang – a very intense oil, use it in a small amount (even 1 drop per 10 drops of other oils) to add some sweetness and floral notes to a soothing and relaxing mixture


Virginia juniper – it is also a very grounding and calming oil


Himalayan cedar – very pleasant, sweet, woody, warm and enveloping scent


Geranium – an oil recommended for irritability, mental fatigue, but also during periods of increased stress, a great companion for women during menstruation, menopause and as a support for PMS



If sleep problems persist, it’s crucial to seek advice from a healthcare provider. They can conduct assessments to rule out other underlying conditions such as sleep apnea and provide personalized treatment options.

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