Perimenopause is no fun at the best of times and one of the symptoms of falling oestrogen is disturbed sleep (and night sweats but lets not go into that). Sometimes I drop off straight away and then wake for no reason at all in the middle of the night and then can’t get back to sleep and other times I just lie awake for hours, sometimes all night, until about half an hour before the alarm is due and then I could sleep for hours but I can’t! So frustrating. Add to that my darling cat who likes to dive bomb me at 4am when he jumps off the chest of drawers. Bless him!
Poor sleep affects about a third of people and a disturbed night can make us irritable the following day.
So I’ve been doing some research into how to help everyone, not just me, to get a good nights sleep.
Here are some things that could help.
Deep breathing: When you get into bed try some deep breathing exercises. Inhale to a count of four, hold for one and exhale for a further count of four. Do this for between two and five minutes and you will feel calmer and more relaxed. Particularly good if you’ve got a stressful job and have trouble unwinding or switching off.
As an alternative apparently Kundalini breathing is particularly good if you are feeling very strung out. To do this you need to sit up straight in bed, pucker your lips as if holding a 10p coin, breathe in forcefully through the lips, exhale through the nose. Do this for one – two minutes. Just make sure no one’s watching especially if they’re pointing their phone at you!
Have a comfortably hot bath – and use a bath bomb – preferably one which contains epsom salts aswell! The bicarb in the bath bomb neutralises the skins acidity, detoxes and softens the water. Epsom salts give you a boost of magnesium, essential for relaxation. Don’t use soap, shampoo or shower gel as these will reduce the sleep effects of the bicarb. It’s probably best not to use a bath bomb that has loads of colour or glitter in as the colour will absorb into your skin and may have a negative effect on your sleep and the glitter will stick to your skin and could irritate it. Pat your skin dry and go to bed soon afterwards. Sleepy Thyme Bath Bomb would be a good choice as it has all the essential oils to help you sleep too!
It might not appeal to most of us but 20 minutes of vigorous exercise, even jumping up and down on the spot, can help shake the energy out of your system and make you feel very sleepy. Hmmm not sure about this one as I’m sure I’d feel more awake but I’m going to try it one of these days – with a good sports bra so I don’t end up with two black eyes!
Chanting can also help. Particularly the sound ‘Aaaah’ can help to release pain and stuck negative energy. 10 minutes of this chanting loudly and proudly can help to clear the mind allowing for deep sleep. Again, make sure no one sneaks up on you with their phone set to record!
A more appealing method to me is to use your thumbs. Take both thumbs and push up on the bone at the top of your eye socket. There is a little indentation there. Press on this and it will feel like a little dull pressure but it can help calm and aid sleep. It’s also good for relieving tension headaches.
A relaxing essential oil blend could help you to relax too. Sleepy thyme balm contains a blend of six different essential oils that all help you to relax and drift off to sleep. Click on the link to see what they are.
Magnesium supplements can also help as we rarely eat enough magnesium rich foods like dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yoghurt, bananas, dried fruit, dark chocolate (proper stuff). I’m working on something that isn’t food but does contain magnesium so watch this space!
Bananas – good sources of magnesium and potassium which are great at relaxing.
Cherries – can be taken as a liquid or tablet as well as the actual fruit if not in season.
Almonds – again rich in magnesium are a healthy snack before bedtime – unless you have a nut allergy.
Kale – can provide calcium which turns into melatonin and can help you sleep.
Flaxseeds – increase the level of serotonin in the body to calm and relax. They can also help reduce hot flushes. I’m getting some of these!
My favourite tip:
My favourite tip tho is to try to switch off your brain at least half an hour before bed. Often I’m up til gone 11 working either wrapping soap or updating the website, designing labels or catching up on paperwork which isn’t great as I go to bed still thinking of what I was doing five minutes before.
I’m making a conscious effort to turn off the tech at least half an hour before bed. I don’t take my phone or ipad into my bedroom any more and I’m going to start doing some colouring before bed instead as that helps to switch off the brain and get it ready for sleep. I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes!
How do you get to sleep? It would be great to hear about it. Feel free to add comments below the blog.
Until next time keep thinking sleepy thoughts and lets hope we all get a good nights sleep soon!
Lots of love