Ruminations on Sleep
Updated: Jul 15, 2020
Because When I Wanna Be Snoozing, I'm Stewing...
You're exhausted too early but when you finally fall into bed that's it, it's over. You're anxious, nervous, fretting, panicking. All those things you couldn't remember when the sun was out? Yeah, here they are...
Hormonally induced insomnia can feel like torture.
Here Are A Few Things That've Been Helpful To Me:
If you can get away with it, don't fight the fatigue. If you're lucky enough to take a nap, take one. If you can get into bed early, get in there girl! I've called it a night at dinner time some days. We're talking 6:30, give or take? And you know what, I felt better the next day for sure. Sometimes, you just need to hit the sack.
The night sweating is crap and certainly makes sound sleep near impossible. Sleep in lightweight cotton clothing and have a fan nearby if necessary! Can I tell you, my husband is a fan sleeper for the white noise and it annoyed me to no end until that first night I was hot as hell and pointed it in square in my direction. Fans help.
Limit your dependance on caffeine. I know, I know, I need to stop it right there. Who do I think I am? But here's the thing: too much caffeine messes with your body's ability to regulate. How can you settle down when you're all jacked up? Cool it with the coffee (or tea, or god forbid soda...you better not be drinking soda) by 3pm and let your body learn that the hour is approaching when all good menos hit the hay.
Limit your alcohol intake. Beverages and sleep are a thing, aren't they? Yeah, so, not only does alcohol depress you which makes sleep a problem in and of itself, it also makes it harder to remain asleep. Sugar, alcohol, sleep. Bad combo. They don't play nice together. Sure the alcohol might make you sleepy at first, because it depresses the nervous system, so a nightcap may seem like a grand idea! In truth, however, alcohol suppresses REM sleep (so you never really get that deep, necessary rest) and it's ability to make you feel drowsy wanes after a few hours, so, surprise! You're up! Also, those night sweats. Alcohol loves night sweats. Who needs it?
Eat healthy. Blah, blah, blah, I know, I'm ruining everything, right? No coffee, no booze, no sugar? What's the point?! But look, you can do this! And you need your beauty sleep, damnit! All good things come from the food we eat. Eat better, live better. That means, ya gotta cut out the refined sugar (and vegetable oils, while I'm throwing need-to-know info out there). Sugar (and those nasty oils) negatively impacting every cell in your body. Think about that! Disrupted cell function leads to metabolic disfunction like: diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer and dementia. Hard pass, thank you. What does this have to do with sleep, you ask? Eating too much sugar, as we all know, leads to weight gain, which, among other things, increases hot flashes or night sweats when you're trying to catch some z's. Also, eating just before bed gives your body too much to do: digest and try to sleep. It can't do both successfully and digestion will win the battle, leaving you to, you guessed it, wake up and stay up. Also, all that sugar laden food from dinner (think pasta or rice, wine and cheese, maybe dessert?) will cause a spike in insulin levels. And all I know about physics is the old adage, what goes up must come down. Insulin levels that have spiked during a full court sugar press dinner, must plummet. And they'll do that in the middle of the night, without a doubt! So, stop eating at least 2-3 hours before bed. And if you're starving before you turn in for the night, try a healthy plant based snack like, hummus and carrots or sliced apple with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a tsp. of almond butter. Stay away from sugars and processed grains. Remember, it's not just eating the healthy foods, it's also NOT eating the unhealthy foods. Like I always say, be consistent. Enjoy low-GI (glycemic index) foods as much as possible. This means aiming to eat fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds and lean protein instead of anything made of processed grains or with added sugars. Instead of spaghetti and meatballs, try spaghetti squash and meatballs made without the breadcrumbs. Make it salmon and roast vegetables instead of burgers and fries. Or stir fry chicken with vegetables over cauliflower rice. You don't need the white rice anymore.
Try some Magnesium Glycinate. Please ask your doctor if you have any contraindications! Magnesium Glycinate has been shown to help peri and menopausal women combat brain fog, anxiety, stress and INSOMNIA (off to bed with you, sleep interruptors). Not to be confused with Magnesium Citrate, which helps to loosen stools for those suffering with constipation.