Posted on by Village Green Nutrition Team
Menopause is a transitional time in a woman’s life that can be more or less challenging, depending on a number of factors. While some women go through menopause with relatively few issues, the majority of women experience months or years of fluctuating hormones that may cause a variety of symptoms.
A woman’s body stops producing reproductive hormones somewhere in her late 40s or early 50s. Here’s what you need to know about this process:
- Menstruation becomes spotty, and menopause has started when you haven’t had a menstrual period in one year.
- Several years before your period stops is called perimenopause, and that’s typically when you’ll begin to see mild symptoms, such as mood swings, irritability and irregular periods.
- Symptoms may continue through menopausal years into postmenopausal years.
- The lessening of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone brings about specific changes that can feel pretty rough, including insomnia, hot flashes and night sweats.
- Insomnia, a sleep disorder that prevents you from getting the right kind of healthy sleep, often goes hand-in-hand with menopause because those hormone changes also affect sleep.
- Sleeplessness often begins in perimenopause and can continue into post-menopause.
Insomnia is a very common complaint during menopause. It can seem like it will never end when you face countless sleepless nights, but there are many ways to tackle the issue and get back to healthy sleep patterns. This guide will discuss the causes of menopausal-related insomnia and helpful natural supplements and other remedies.
What is The Connection Between Menopause and Insomnia?
Transitioning through menopause means sleep problems for more than 60% of American women, affecting not only how fast you fall asleep but also how long you stay asleep. Menopause can impact your sleep in several different ways. Some of the most common include:
Hot flashes, one of the most well-known symptoms of menopause, are the topic of a lot of jokes, but there’s nothing funny about them. Rapid decreases in hormone levels cause a rush of adrenaline and a sudden hot flash. You will feel extremely hot one moment and chilly the next. They’re called night sweats when they happen at night, and they can keep you up much of the night and destroy the quality of the sleep you do get.
One big reason sleep problems appear is because of the diminished presence of progesterone, a sleep-inducing hormone. It becomes harder to fall asleep and stay asleep as your body adjusts to fewer hormones, especially progesterone. The ever-decreasing hormone levels cause problems like mood swings and weight gain.
Excess estrogen can cause depression, but there are many other reasons women often feel depressed during menopause, such as body image, sexuality, infertility, aging and mood swings. Depression can be a common cause of insomnia.
Menopause is a natural part of life and there are many things that you can do to help ease the transition. In addition to eating a healthy diet, exercising, and practicing other good lifestyle habits, taking herbs and supplements can be very beneficial in helping you get good quality, restful sleep.
What Are Some Insomnia Remedies for Menopausal Women?
There are many ways to support menopausal insomnia. Medications can offer relief when taken in consultation with a doctor, but be sure to ask about any side effects. Many noninvasive approaches can be effective. Here are the top four most common options:
1. Natural Supplements
Herbs and nutrients have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries because of their beneficial effects on the body. Menopausal symptoms can often be helped successfully with natural supplements.
Certain herbs and supplements help sleep come easier and last longer. Chamomile’s sedative effects are well known, as are the sleep-promoting powers of valerian root, ashwagandha and melatonin. Supplements can be taken as pills, chewable gummies, teas, and even topical creams.
2. Nutritional Counseling
The way people eat affects every part of their lives, including sleep. A healthy diet can reduce symptoms of menopause and help you get the kind of sleep you need to get real rest. Calcium and magnesium-rich foods, healthy fats, high-quality protein, a variety of fruits and vegetables, and whole-grain fiber are some of the best elements to add to your diet during this stage to help ease sleeplessness.
Nutritional counseling can help you improve your diet and address sleep issues, as well as other health concerns.
3. Hormone Replacement Therapy
HRT, or hormone replacement therapy, has long been the standard treatment for menopausal symptoms like insomnia. It balances hormones in the body in the form of a pill, patch or cream.
For some women, medication may be an option for providing relief for uncomfortable menopausal symptoms. Low doses of antidepressants can help lessen mood swings, for instance, and anticonvulsants can help with extreme hot flashes. It’s best to speak with a doctor if your symptoms are causing significant disruptions or you feel they are no longer manageable.
Menopausal symptoms, including insomnia, can be quite disruptive. Fortunately, there are many ways to address these inconvenient and uncomfortable symptoms during this transitional time.
Natural Remedies From a Trusted Wellness Team
You can manage symptoms of menopause and insomnia with healthy choices and an expert’s guidance. Village Green Apothecary is an integrative pharmacy specializing in nutritional supplements, working to provide personalized wellness plans. Our knowledgeable team includes pharmacists, nutritionists, naturopathic doctors and clinical herbalists who help customers find the best solutions to support their health. Contact Village Green Apothecary to speak with an expert regarding questions about supplementation and nutritional counseling.
Are you interested in learning more about women's health? Check out our new Humanized Podcast on overcoming estrogen dominance and discover how personalized health is now a reality.
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Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
Margo's impressive knowledge base is the result of a unique blend of educational and professional experience.
Dr. Neal Barnard
Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research.
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
Debi is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, a personal trainer, and whole health coach.
Teri is a is a Certified Coach Practitioner with extensive certifications and experience in holistic medicinal practices.
Dr. Rav Ivker
Dr. Rav Ivker is a holistic family physician, health educator, and best-selling author.
Susan writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
Dr. Rob Brown
Dr. Brown's blended perspective of healthcare includes a deeply rooted passion for wellness and spiritual exploration.