0:00:03.3 Kim Schlag: Welcome to episode 96 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host,…
“I don’t think I’ll ever sleep again!” I sobbed.
3 months of night sweats left me rung out and exhausted in every way possible: mentally, emotionally, and obviously physically. Menopause hormone therapy is first line treatment for night sweats and hot flashes, and for me it was a life saver.
It’s not a fit for everyone though, and even for those of us who use it, it doesn’t fix all sleep related issues. Over and above MHT I have worked to improve my sleep quantity and quality personally and to help my clients do the same.
More and higher quality sleep can help you feel better, perform better and improve your weight loss results. Here are a few suggestions to try:
- Curate your environment. Channel a bear my friend. We’re talking cold and dark like a cave:
- Set your thermostat between 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit (the ideal temp for sleep). This is a change for me as I’m usually Team 72 degrees.
- Consider temperature regulating sheets. Cozy Earth sent me some of their super soft temperature regulating sheets to try. On first touch I could feel that their bamboo sheets were quite different from my regular cotton sheets and pillowcases (and not just because they felt like fancy hotel sheets). They were cool to the touch and stayed that way throughout the whole night.
- Dark is a must. Whether that means blackout curtains, an eye mask, or simply shutting off the hallway light the kids keep leaving on no matter how many times you ask them to turn it off (not that that happens repeatedly in my house), make your room as dark as possible.
- A good night’s sleep actually starts in the morning. A standardized wake time, even on weekends, along with getting light in your eyes as soon as you can upon awakening help to set your circadian rhythm. Meaning that you’ll be appropriately sleepy at bedtime. You can head outside for a walk or simply sit in front of a large window when you wake up.
- Prioritize a bedtime routine that prepares you for sleep. We are often so good at doing this with our kids, but neglect it for ourselves. It doesn’t have to be elaborate mind you. For me, I found that I resisted doing all the night time things (brushing teeth, getting in my pjs, doing my skincare routine) if I waited until I was too tired. I’d literally put off going to bed because it felt like too much work. My solution was to do all of those things right after dinner. Then when bedtime rolled around I didn’t feel that resistance. I could read a book and climb into bed. Experiment with routines to find one that works for you.
- If you can’t sleep, staying in bed fretting about not being able to sleep is actually the worst thing you can do. Instead, get up and do something non-stimulating in dim light. Listen to a book or podcast, color in an adult coloring book, drink a cup of chamomile tea, or engage in any other non-stimulating activity you prefer that can be done in dim light. The idea is to keep yourself occupied until you start to feel sleepy again.
Sleep in midlife and menopause can be a real bear. Please seek help from your doctor or a sleep specialist if working on your sleep environment, routine, and mindset isn’t enough.
This article was sponsored by Cozy Earth