sleep and menopause

Difficulty with Sleep and Menopause?

Insomnia during Menopause

What is it about lack of sleep and menopause? Sleep during menopause can be very elusive. Are you experiencing lack of sleep as you go through menopause? It is one of the most debilitating symptoms going through the change.

Lying there wide awake, knowing there is a big day ahead, worried about fatigue, yet the ability to sleep just evades you night after night! It may be accompanied with hot flushes and sweating, it may come along with anxiety, a feeling of impending doom or some other worry.

The symptoms of not having enough sleep can be endless. Of course there is exhaustion. There is the lack of mental clarity, poor concentration and fogginess. We can become less resilient to life’s stressors. Less tolerant and more grumpy and irritable. Life becomes so much less enjoyable!

Common yes, normal no

You may have read that insomnia is a normal symptom of menopause. It is such a common complaint. “I wish I could get more sleep. I wish I could just feel normal again.” Many women think the symptoms they experience during menopause is normal because they are so common. Like any symptom, it is an expression of an imbalance in the body. The symptoms in menopause are an imbalance that has slowly been created over time. 

While creating a good sleep routine will help, insomnia is often treated using Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture.

Causes of insomnia during menopause

The reason why woman experience insomnia during menopause varies according to the underlying causes. One of the more common causes is a lack of yin energy in the body.

Yin of the body often declines as we age. The yin is the substance of the body. The blood, tissues muscles. It is the cooling moistening aspects. If there is not enough yin the body becomes dry, and heat is created. As this heat is from a lack of yin substance, we need to nourish as well as cool.

How can I improve my sleep?

How to Build yin in the body to improve sleep

  • Lifestyle Changes
    Building the yin of the body takes time. It is also a challenge when looking at the lifestyle many of us have. IN modern society women often have many hats – the work hat, the household hat, the parental hat. Sitting in front of screens deplete our yin, as do being in air conditioning or artificial heating. Often we need to examine our lifestyle to see if it is conducive to allowing rest and replenishment. We may need to slow down and be reflective on what our lifestyle is doing to our health and do changes need to be made.
  • Diet
    We can build the yin of our body through diet. By increasing foods that nourish the yin, and possibly decreasing foods that are heating and drying we can replenish the yin over time. Dietary changes often recommended include stopping coffee, red wine, spicy foods and fried foods. Foods that help build or yin include dairy products, animal proteins, eggs, kidney and black beans, black sesame seeds.
  • Herbal tonics
    Tonics slowly build up the body’s yin and work when taken consistently over time. Chinese medicine is a longevity medicine aimed at keeping the body nourished and well balalnced and has many tonics to replenish and restore the yin of our body.
  • Turn off the screens a few hours before bed.
    Light effects your body’s biological clock, known as the circadian rhythm. Exposing yourself to blue light from the screens of computers, TV and  phones and tablets  at night can effect how well you sleep.
  • Yin style exercise
    There are different styles of exercise in Eastern traditions. Exercise such as tai chi, qi gong and yoga that build the energy of the body. Yoga such as restorative, yin yoga or nidra yoga are styles that are nurturing and nourishing.

One of the steps that can be taken to improve sleep quality is a course of  Chinese herbs and acupuncture at Mei Hua Chinese Medicine Clinic. Let Chinese medicine be a tool for you to achieve a sounder, better quality sleep.

To begin treatment for insomnia and other menopause related issues, book an initial acupuncture or herbal health assessment. Book Now

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