If you are a woman over the age of forty and you are having trouble getting to sleep at night or staying asleep you are not alone. Many women in their late thirties and early forties experience sleep problems due to declining hormone levels and other hormonal changes that are a natural part of the aging process. This time of life is referred to as “Perimenopause” and is the time where your body is moving toward Menopause or the cessation of your menstrual cycle. During this time of life, hot flashes, night sweats, health issues and the normal stresses of life can make it very difficult to get a good night’s rest. According to sleep experts, making small lifestyle changes can help increase your chances of getting a full night of sleep. Here are some suggestions:
- sleep only at night, in your bed; do not nap during the day
- avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine
- go to bed around the same time every night
- exercise daily, at least three hours before bedtime
- establish a nighttime ritual such as drinking hot tea (decaffeinated) or taking a warm bath before bed
Getting enough sleep is an essential part of maintaining your immune system as well as your overall health. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling irritable, edgy, exhausted and depressed. If you have tried making lifestyle changes to improve your sleep and it is not working, it may be time to talk to your Gynecologist. If hormonal changes are causing your sleep problems, he or she may recommend hormone replacement therapy or some other type of hormonal treatment.