Bye Bye Sleeping Through the Night
Ready to say “bye bye” to sleepless nights?
Are you feeling exhausted or “running on stress hormones” all day?
As we enter midlife and begin our peri-menopause journey sleep can often be challenging. Many women experience restless nights, trouble staying asleep, insomnia and waking frequently.
It can be frustrating but do not fear, I have some great tips (and an amazing recipe) for you!
The science of sleep is fascinating, complicated and growing.
Sleep is this daily thing that we all do and yet we’re just beginning to understand all of the ways it helps us and all of the factors that can affect it.
Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind.
People who get less sleep tend to be at higher risk for so many health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer; not to mention effects like slower metabolism, weight gain, hormone imbalance, headaches and inflammation. And don’t forget the impact lack of sleep can have on moods, memory and decision-making skills.
Knowing this it’s easy to see the three main purposes of sleep:
- Restore our body and mind. Our bodies repair, grow and even “detoxify” our brains while we sleep.
- Improve our brain’s ability to learn and remember things, technically known as “synaptic plasticity”.
- Conserve some energy so we’re not just actively “out and about” 24-hours a day, every day.
Do you know how much sleep adults need? It’s less than your growing kids need but you may be surprised that it’s recommended that all adults get 7 – 9 hours a night. For real! Try not to skimp! (Don’t worry, I have you covered).
- The biggest tip is definitely to try to get yourself into a consistent sleep schedule. Make it a priority and you’re more likely to achieve it. This means turning off your lights 8 hours before your alarm goes off. Seven. Days. A. Week. I know weekends can easily throw this off but by making sleep a priority for a few weeks your body and mind will adjust and thank you for it.
- Balance your blood sugar throughout the day. You know, eat less refined and processed foods and more whole foods (full of blood-sugar-balancing fiber). Choose the whole orange instead of the juice (or orange-flavoured snack). Make sure you’re getting some protein every time you eat.
- During the day get some sunshine and exercise. These things tell your body its daytime; time for being productive, active and alert. By doing this during the day it will help you wind down more easily in the evening.
- Cut off your caffeine and added sugar intake after 12 pm. Whole foods like fruits and veggies are fine, it’s the “added” sugar we’re minimizing. Yes, this includes your beloved chai latte. Both caffeine and added sugar can keep your mind a bit more active than you want it to be as evening time gets closer. (HINT: I have a great caffeine-free chai latte recipe for you below!).
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine that starts 1 hour before your “lights out” time (that is 8 – 10 hours before your alarm is set to go off). This would include dimming your artificial lights, nixing screen time and perhaps reading an actual book (not an “ebook”) or having a bath.
So how many of these tips can you start implementing today?
For more tips make sure you download this Free Menopause Sleep Guide
Recipe: Caffeine-free Chai Latte (for your afternoon “coffee break”)
- 1 bag of rooibos chai tea (rooibos is naturally caffeine-free)
- 2 cups of boiling water
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon almond butter (creamy is preferred)
- 2 dates (optional)
Cover the teabag and dates (if using) with 2 cups of boiling water and steep for a few minutes.
Discard the tea bag & place tea, soaked dates, tahini & almond butter in a blender.
Blend until creamy.
Serve and Enjoy!
Tip: You can try this with other nut or seed butter to see which flavour combination you like the best. Cashew butter anyone?