Perimenopause gives rise to bouts of insomnia as estrogen and progesterone are being weaned out of your body. This fertility duo was working in close partnership with each other so as their relationship grows distant, estrogen might spike which leads to feelings of nervousness and anxiety, and progesterone isn’t at a sufficient level to induce its usual relaxing effect around bedtime.
Another part of progesterone’s responsibility is to keep the uterine lining thick. When there isn’t a fertilized egg to cushion, it’s ready to shed and progesterone drops. This is why you might notice that especially right before your period starts your insomnia rages like a teenage rave.
Since perimenopause is already downregulating this helpful sleep hormone in general, progesterone is nearly completely absent during these days which is why perimenopausal insomnia is quite common.
Around menopause women can be entangled in a variety of sleep disorders that end up having a domino effect on each other. Where once protected by reproductive hormones, in addition to insomnia, now sleep apnea can develop which could lead to exorbitant sleepiness during the day (hypersomnia) and even narcolepsy.
How to Lessen the Deficit
Sufficient sleep sets up how your day and week ahead will go. It’s as important to your mental clarity as staying hydrated and getting proper nutrition. While the hurdle may seem daunting, there are ways to safeguard your slumber.
Block Off Your Calendar
Similar to knowing the most fertile times to take action, try to avoid big, stressful events if you can before your period starts. Schedule meetings, presentations, or a family visit for other times of the month. While your period might be fluctuating at least you’re setting yourself up for a best case scenario.
Make It a Priority
Your circadian rhythm flourishes with regimen. When the cadence is long, then short, fast, then slow; that does not make for a good harmony. Decide what your sleep schedule should be and stick to it 7 days a week as much as possible.
Your lack of energy may be calling you to lie down during the day but this can leave you awake and frustrated later. If you must, limit those 40-winks to 20 minutes and keep them to the early part of your day.
A supplement could be a great lullaby especially if you’re deeply worried about being able to consummate a proper snooze. Keep in mind teas might have you going to the bathroom just when you’re getting ready to fall asleep. These herbs are available to take in pill or tincture form:
- Valerian Root
While you might feel exhausted already, exercise can help to make sure you’re extra worn out to achieve deep sleep. It also gets endorphins and dopamine into your bloodstream which will help ease any sense of stress and anxiety.
If you have the pocket for it, a sleep specialist can customize an approach and a treatment plan for your particular sleep condition(s). With 30% of Americans struggling with these disorders, this field is only growing. Be sure to do your research though because they have sub-specialties depending on if you have a physical issue or more of a behavioral one.
Insomnia is curable! Be at peace knowing that it might be a long journey but eventually you will find a way to get back into your sleep groove.