This month during our research into sleep quality we have been focusing on the challenges faced by many women as they are transitioning into middle age.
The journey from perimenopause to post-menopause can be so varied from woman to woman, although we are biologically all moving in the same direction, our symptoms and reactions are personal. Perimenopause can last anything from 1 year to 10 years, and during this time we will typically start to experience some physical and emotional changes. It is not unusual for sleep disruption to be the first symptom.
It is worth noting that these years are laden with many challenging transitions for most woman. Juggling work, finances and family, children becoming young adults, elderly parents requiring support, maintaining relationships and often other medical health requirements. These responsibilities can weigh heavily and can contribute to anxiety, which in turn can play havoc with our sleep quality, leaving us less equipped to face the challenges of the next day.
Throw hot flushes, caused by our depletion of hormones into the equation and it can feel like a soul-destroying cycle. Those elusive 7-8 hours a night seem like a distant memory.
There are many remedies available, from traditional medical treatment such as hormone replacement therapy, complementary therapies such as reflexology or acupuncture to a more holistic approach combining dietary and lifestyle changes. Women should seek professional advice and receive a personalised approach. There may be a period of trial and error until a preferred treatment or combination of treatments are established.
A good night’s sleep cannot be taken for granted, the benefits are essential to our mental, physical and emotional health.
What can we do ourselves to encourage a good night’s sleep?
Developing a bedtime routine is something we associated with children, training their brain to associate a particular pattern of events with sleep. We can use this technique for ourselves too.
A suggested sleep hygiene routine.
- Do not nap during the day.
- No caffeine after 5 pm
- Remember alcohol is not your sleep friend.
- Exercise daily, get your steps in.
- Set a regular bedtime and stick to it.
- Take a warm bath before bed.
- Do not look at any screens after bath time.
- Wear soft, cool, breathable, natural fibre nightwear eg cotton, linen or bamboo.
- Consider the quality of light/dark in your bedroom.
- Consider the temperature, we sleep better in a cool room.
- Choose bedding made from natural fibres eg cotton or linen sheets, wool pillows and a lightweight natural fibre duvet.
The benefits of natural fibres will keep you warm but not hot, and because it is not an insulator alone, but a heat regulator, it will wick moisture away from you and reduce the risk of you overheating and disturbing your sleep.
Our unique duvets are filled with cashmere guard hair and wool. Our many customers tell us they sleep better.
For ladies going through the menopause we recommend the Light Summer duvet and for those with partners who want to be warmer, we can add a single layer to one side to give that extra warmth if needed.