If I could pick out the most annoying problem in menopause, insomnia would win the prize. In my younger years I slept eight hours every night, and woke up feeling rested and ready to face the day.
Now, I am lucky if I sleep five hours and I find myself yawning during the day and falling asleep at my desk. Since the medical establishment put a big thumbs down on HRT, I have had to play detective in my own life and I have come up with a few tips that I’d like to pass along.
Use Your Bed for Sleeping or Sex Only
It’s comfortable to kick your shoes off and lie down on the bed to read, talk or text on your phone. This isn’t the time to watch the move “Psycho” or your favorite TV show. This encourages alertness and you’ll wake up tired and cranky the next day.
Put Pets in Their Own Beds
I feel like an expert on this one, and I once had six cats in a one bedroom studio. Guess what? All six liked to be with us in bed and one cat in particular liked to hog the pillow on my side.
If this sounds like you, it won’t be easy to get pets to sleep in their own little space, but one nifty trick is to put catnip on their beds. Dogs like to chew on bones and that can keep them occupied for a short time. Keep reinforcing these methods and soon they will become a habit.
Set Aside Worry Time
It seems like there is never a shortage of things to worry about. The more you worry, the more you keep yourself awake. It may be helpful to set aside some worry time before you go to sleep.
Take fifteen minutes and write down everything you’re worried about. Go down the list and think of how you can solve each one. You’ll feel less stressed just getting your worries written down, and a calm mind will help you fall asleep.
There have been so many times that I have eaten a big lunch and just wanted to do a swan dive on the bed, and sleep it off for an hour or two. Don’t make that mistake. If you’re trying to get on a strict sleep schedule of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, a nap will disrupt the whole process.
Don’t be afraid to consult your doctor about your sleep problems. You may need medication, or be referred for a sleep study.