As a mum it is common to have umpteen plates spinning – packed lunches; school…
I’ve asked the lovely Hayley West to write a guest blog this month. Hayley and I met several years ago at a networking event and she brought the most delicious home-made healthy biscuits to share! Not easily forgotten. She has a wealth of knowledge and her passion is all around the power of nutrition, science and yoga to help women navigate their menopausal years with ease. Here she shares her tips on the important topic of sleep x Jackie
If you have ever experienced a time in your life when sleep has either evaded you, or your family life has disrupted your sleep, you will understand why sleep deprivation is a form of torture.
Sleep is vital for your physical and mental well-being; it is as nourishing as the food you eat and the exercise you do. When deprived of it regularly, life feels wonky & hard work. You might crave foods you wouldn’t naturally; you could have zero motivation and more than likely be an emotional wreck. While you sleep your body heals it itself and your organs have time to rest, repair & get ready for the next day. Without it your immune, digestive and elimination systems are not optimal and that can lead to a multitude of symptoms.
When you are a new mum being deprived of sleep, you are comparatively lucky, because you have that sweet babe who gives you smiles & cuddles that create a hormone feedback in the body which helps keep you going and give purpose to your day. It’s a bit different when you hit your mid-life. You might feel like you are just hitting your stride and feeling on top of things, then you start waking up at 3am unable to get back to sleep. Or you wake up in the middle of the night soaked with sweat, have to kick your partner out of bed to change it, or sleep on and under a towel. Or if you are unlucky like I was, you won’t get to sleep at all because heart palpitations keep you awake all night.
Insomnia is the menopausal symptom that is the most disruptive to women’s lives, because it affects every aspect of life. The good news is whatever your reason for not sleeping, there are many hacks that can help you get your ZZZZZZ’s at night, so pick one, a few or try them all and see how it impacts your night.
- Get up and go to bed at the same time every day
- Cat nap if you must but only for 10-15 minutes
- Keep your bedroom cool
- Get outside during the day. It tells your body that it is daytime, especially during the winter
- In the evening, have low lighting around the house, so your body knows that it is no longer the middle of the day
- If you watch TV or look at a screen in the evening, turn it off one hour before bedtime
- Use a relaxing aromatherapy oil blend on your pulse points at bedtime
- Keep a notepad by your bed if you wake up thinking of what you need to do the next day
- Keep caffeine intake restricted to the morning or before 3pm at the latest
- Magnesium supplements can help if you are menopausal
If you are over 40 and these do not help you, a broader look at your lifestyle will probably help so don’t despair, make contact with myself or another professional so you can make sleep your friend again.
I am a nutritionist & yoga teacher specialising in helping women move through their menopausal years with ease. I share scientific knowledge, holistic practices and lifestyle hacks so that you can find the right path for you.
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