As you can see, I’ve had a big battle with sleep over the years. In recent years, the magnesium especially has helped me. As well as getting a proper bedtime routine. If I read my phone before I go to sleep, my sleep is much poorer. But these days I can fall asleep reading my kindle and stay that way.
The following, rather long list (sorry), have been solutions I’ve tried when I’m struggling:
- Get exercise every day
Preferably middle of the day to get some sunlight on you. But in some cases, going for a walk at night a few hours before bed helps to tire me out too. I also find I walk at night when I’m feeling down. Few people to have to engage with. There is a sense of anonymity of being in the dark.
- No electronic devices after 9pm – unless it’s a Kindle reader
The kindle itself has a better light to help with sleep than a kindle app on a phone. But if you only have the phone to use, change the background to sepia and turn on the night-time feature of the phone.
(I also have the Flux app on my Mac and PC which helps to remove the blue light from the screen and my phone has a night-time setting for the same thing. But I find even then, my brain gets too active with what I’m doing and my sleep is poorer if I’m not off my machine by 8.30/9pm)
- When its bedtime, just go to bed
So, get all locking doors, washing up, taking meds, making drinks, brushing teeth etc done 30 mins before bedtime, so you just need to get up and go to bed. If you have been relaxing in front of the telly, just going to bed shouldn’t wake you up too much
- No TV in the bedroom
It’s a hard rule in my house. It’s noticeable that my partner and his girls have poorer sleep patterns because they read or watch TV on their phones or tablets before bedtime. I can’t control that, but I can control the physical TV not being in our room at night
- Increase your magnesium intake
Magnesium depletes as we get older, so boosting it during menopause is really important. Magnesium Malate during the day to keep me awake.
Magnesium Glycinate at night helps me to sleep. (Be careful though as it can cause you to have a “loose” bowel. So build up your dose gradually. 1 pill for a week, increase by 1 pill each week until you know you’ve had enough).
I also have electrolytes which also contain magnesium, and this helps my blood pressure and hydration too.
A Magnesium spray can help, which you can rub onto your person.
And there are also some magnesium butters you can rub into your feet at bedtime.
- Eat a handful of pecan nuts before bed
They are full of magnesium (which helps with sleep) and slow release (which stops the hunger pangs which then trigger hot flushes and night sweats)
- Drink plenty of water during the day
This will help your natural sleep cycles.
- Hot drink before bed
Horlicks or just hot milk. But nothing caffeinated
- Limit your caffeine in the day
But no more caffeine after 5pm.
- Enjoy a hobby
I find doing some form of craft (I do Cross stitch) with the TV or radio in the background very relaxing before bed. I think my brain processes things in the background and all my worries seem to go away. I definitely sleep better as a result
- Try a weighted blanket
This has really helped. Probably because I can’t move. And on a cold winters morning, I don’t want to get up
- Have a cool room but lots of covers
I hate being cold, but I have found these days that if I’m in a cool room, but under lots of covers, esp now I have the weighted blanket, I feel so cozy, I don’t tend to wake as easily.
- Medical help
I don’t like taking pills, but during the dark months of winter (from about end of Nov to Feb) I do seem to suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD). So, if I find I’m waking lots in the night, or my mood is becoming consistently low, I will take a very low dose of Amitriptyline (5mg) at night to help me sleep. (I think 10mg is the lowest pill size, but I have a pill cutter).
The drawback is they make me dehydrated and groggy. I keep a pint of water by my bed and make sure I drink the pint when I wake up. This really helps to wake me up quicker. The lighter mornings seem to automatically make me feel better, so I will wean myself off the meds around Feb.