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You’ve Done Everything to Heal Your Sleep But Nothing is Working. What’s Next?

Aug 18, 2017

If I was to ask you what you think most women find most difficult about the menopause, what would you say?

Would you tell me that hot flushes are a nightmare?

Would you suggest that maybe it’s the fact that many women put on weight around the middle during these years?

Perhaps you’d even tell me that it’s the emotional side of things- the upheaval, the lack of confidence and the way the menopause often kills your self-esteem and your sense of self worth.

But in fact, it’s none of these things.

It’s the way that it seems completely impossible to get a good night’s sleep once you hit the menopause. You struggle to drop off, wake throughout the night and still feel tired and groggy the next day.

You’ve tried so hard to sleep better

And it’s not like you haven’t tried to do something about it. You’ve tried all of the usual tips like taking a hot bath before bed, enjoyed a warm drink, getting blackout blinds and even listening to guided relaxation recordings. You’ve even tried to exercise more in an attempt to ‘wear yourself out’ but that just makes you feel even more exhausted!

So you took it a step further, you signed up for my FREE sleep coaching and put my tips into action, like reducing caffeine, eating protein and including more veggies. You even put a reminder in your phone to do those relaxation exercises.

And it worked! For a while...

But now you’re sleeping better, you stop listening to your recordings. You start letting yourself drink a little more coffee later in the day, and you start giving in to those afternoon doughnuts everyone else in the office is eating. And before long, you’ve forgotten about all your other healthy habits.

Then along comes another stressful event or another hormonal fluctuation and you’re back to square one, getting just a couple of hours sleep per night if you’re lucky.

So what do you do? How do you get a better night’s sleep when you’ve already tried everything?

We go deeper and we go global. Here’s how.

#1: What causes you to feel stressed?

Usually the biggest barrier to getting a great night’s sleep is what’s going on in the rest of your day, so this is what we need to tackle first.

Even though you might not feel particularly stressed, it’s amazing how life’s little (or not-so-little) worries can soon pile up and get on top of you. As woman, we’re particularly at risk for this. We expect ourselves to run around from here to there, stay on top of everything and keep everyone happen and we don’t realise how much stress we’re actually under.

Stress affects your life in several ways.

Firstly, when you’re stressed or worried, it’s quite unlikely that you’ll be able to drop off to sleep at night. You’ll find yourself tossing and turning, mulling over whatever problem you’re facing and trying to solve it when you should really be getting some sleep. You’re probably very familiar with this one- I know I am!

Secondly, stress in your daily life also impacts upon your overall hormonal balance which has a knock-on effect on your sleep. This is because stress raises your (unsurprisingly named) stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine and keeps you in a state of ‘flight or flight’ when you should really be winding down and switching off.

What do we do about this? We need to think long and hard about our lives; what brings us joy and what drags us down. We need to address the stress and worries instead of hoping they’ll just go away.

And we also need to learn and practice some great stress- relieving techniques that will help us feel calmer and less anxious, and will also help reduce those stress hormones and help us sleep better. I recommend guided visualization, full-belly breathing techniques and also yoga.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help from those around you- no-one can move mountains by themselves. If this doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.

#2: Reconnect with yourself

This might sound a little ‘hippy-dippy’ but reconnecting with yourself is actually one of the best ways to understand the inner workings of your own mind, feel centred and loved and also start taking the reins of your life.

Because often we forget about ourselves, don’t we?

I know that I was the very last thing on my mind when my daughter, Nicole was a child. I was so focused on being the best mother possible and providing all the opportunities for her that I could. So naturally, I often took a backseat.

However, before too long, despite the amazing rewards that being a mother brings, I found that my health was suffering, my happiness was suffering, and yes, my sleep wasn’t going too well either.

When I started to take time out to disconnect from the world and started listening to my feminine intuition, I understood what it was I really wanted and what would bring me true joy. That inner peace allowed me to feel incredibly contented when it came to bedtime and it completely transformed my sleep.

If you want to do the same, I’d highly recommend that you practice mindfulness, start a journaling practice or find another vessel for your self expression. Ask yourself what you really want, wait for the answer then act upon it.

#3: Eat foods to calm your nervous system and help you drop off

We can also choose foods that support our nervous system, help us cope with life’s stresses and strains and help us really wind down when it’s bedtime.

I’d highly recommend that you increase your intake of fresh veggies and fruits and opt for unprocessed foods in their natural state as much as possible. This will give your body the nutrition it needs to move towards optimal health, balance those hormones and feel calm and happy.

Additionally, make sure you’re indulging in foods that are high in the amino acid tryptophan which will help balance your hormones and enjoy a better night’s sleep. Foods that are high in tryptophan include eggs, nuts, seeds, turkey and salmon.

Teas like chamomile, passionflower and valerian root will also be a big help- why not switch your bedtime cuppa for one of these?

#4: Limit blue light exposure

Your exposure to blue light is probably wreaking havoc on your sleep cycles and keeping you awake at night.

Why? Because this kind of light- the type emitted by our televisions, smartphones, laptops, iPads and even our eReaders switches off the production of a very important hormone called melatonin. This hormone plays a massive role in the regulation of your body clock as it helps us wind down to sleep when light levels reduce, so if it’s not working as it should you’re bound to be awake at night.

That’s why I always recommend that my clients turn off their devices at least an hour before bed (preferably two) so their bodies can produce that essential melatonin and they can drop off easily.

If you absolutely can’t quit your device, consider installing an app such as F.Lux which will reduce blue light whilst still allowing you to stay connected.

#5: Consider supplements

And finally, it might be worth consider if you need any additional nutritional support in the form of supplements. These can often bridge the gap and help you heal faster as well as address any potential deficiencies.

It’s always worth taking a magnesium citrate supplement as peri-menopausal and menopausal women are often deficient and this essential mineral also supports sleep.

If you’re peri-menopausal, also consider taking Vitex (Agnus Castus) which helps boost progesterone and naturally helps promote sleep.

 

The perfect night’s sleep is within your reach and you can feel calm, relaxed and peaceful before you drift off to a restful sleep and wake feeling refreshed.

It doesn’t matter what you’ve tried before, you will find the solution that works for you.

It’s simply a case of focusing closely on your unique personal triggers and circumstances and supporting your body so it can rebalance the natural way and help you catch up on that shut-eye. Put these tips into action and notice how much better you feel.

 

WANT TO TAKE IT FURTHER?  Join me for my 'Wake Up Feeling Refreshed' programme.  This time only, I'll be offering it for just £12. Click here to find out more. 

 

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