Sleep like a queen while navigating perimenopause nights for success
Perimenopause is a transformative time for women, signaling the approach to the next chapter of life. As our bodies shift and change, a good night’s sleep can become elusive, even for the most successful businesswoman.
In this world of meetings, deadlines, and targets, quality sleep is not a luxury—it’s essential. Here, we delve into why and how to master the art of slumber, even during the tumultuous nights of perimenopause.
Perimenopause is more than hot flashes
Before we can address the sleep challenges posed by perimenopause, we must first understand it. Perimenopause is the transition period leading up to menopause.
During this phase, which can last anywhere from a few months to several years, hormone levels – namely estrogen and progesterone – fluctuate, leading to various symptoms. These include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and, yes, sleep disturbances.
While these symptoms might seem daunting, the more we understand them, the better we tackle them head-on. Acknowledging that these changes are a natural part of life and not a reflection of failing health or decreasing capability can be empowering. And while it’s a transition, it doesn’t mean a halt to your productivity or success.
The sleep-success connection
The phrase “sleep affects your success” isn’t just a catchy slogan – it’s a profound truth. Sleep is the foundation of mental clarity, emotional resilience, and peak physical performance.
For a woman in business, these elements are the trifecta of success. During perimenopause, quality sleep can be harder to achieve, but it’s even more essential. The cognitive effects of sleep deprivation, such as reduced attention span, difficulty in decision-making, and decreased problem-solving skills, can profoundly impact one’s professional life.
Long-term lack of sleep has been linked to chronic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and even lowered immune function. But there’s a silver lining. By prioritizing sleep during perimenopause, you can not only navigate the challenges of this phase but also maintain—or even enhance—your professional prowess.
The right environment sets the stage for slumber
Creating an optimal sleep environment is crucial during perimenopause. This involves several components, from the lighting in your room to the kind of mattress you use. Start by ensuring your room is dark. The pineal gland, responsible for producing melatonin (the sleep hormone), is light-sensitive.
Even a small amount of ambient light can disrupt melatonin production, so invest in blackout curtains or a comfortable sleep mask. Next, keep your room cool. With the occasional hot flash or night sweats, a cooler room can make a world of difference. Experts suggest keeping the bedroom temperature between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lastly, let’s talk about the bed itself. Your mattress plays a pivotal role in sleep quality. And as our needs change during perimenopause, so might our mattress preferences. While some might prefer a firmer surface, others might need something softer. Companies like Helix offer a range of Helix mattresses tailored to individual needs, ensuring comfort and support. Remember, investing in a good mattress isn’t just about luxury; it’s about health, well-being, and, ultimately, success.
Embracing good sleep hygiene
As we age and navigate the unpredictabilities of perimenopause, good sleep hygiene becomes our beacon. This refers to the habits and practices conducive to sleeping well regularly.
Implementing a regular bedtime routine signals to our body that it’s time to wind down and rest. Start by setting a consistent bedtime, even on weekends. Our internal clocks thrive on routine. Then, about an hour before this set bedtime, initiate a relaxation routine. This could be reading a book (preferably not on a screen), practicing gentle yoga, or even indulging in a warm, soothing bath infused with calming essential oils like lavender or chamomile.
Reduce or eliminate caffeine and alcohol intake in the evenings. While a glass of wine might seem like it helps you relax, alcohol can interfere with our REM sleep, the most vital phase of our sleep cycle. Similarly, caffeine can stay in your system for up to 8 hours, so that afternoon cup of coffee might be the culprit behind your sleepless nights.
And while we’re on what you put in your body, consider a light snack before bed. Something with a combination of protein and complex carbs can help stabilize blood sugar levels through the night. Think of a small serving of almond butter on a whole-grain cracker.
Let’s not forget the role of our mattresses in good sleep hygiene. It’s crucial to have a mattress that aligns with your sleep needs. As mentioned earlier, with offerings like helix mattresses, finding one tailored to your specific requirements becomes easier.
The role of diet and exercise
The food we eat and our physical activity levels play an often-underestimated role in our sleep quality, especially during perimenopause. Hormonal fluctuations can sometimes be exacerbated by certain foods and alleviated by others.
Incorporate foods rich in phytoestrogens, such as flaxseeds, soy products, and sesame seeds. These can act as mild estrogens, potentially reducing the intensity of some perimenopausal symptoms. Also, prioritize foods rich in magnesium (like almonds, spinach, and avocados) and B vitamins (like eggs, fish, and legumes). Both are linked to improved sleep quality.
Exercise, on the other hand, can help manage stress, regulate mood, and promote better sleep. While high-intensity workouts are beneficial, even light activities like walking or stretching can make a difference. However, it’s essential to note that vigorous exercise close to bedtime can be stimulating for some, potentially hindering sleep. Aim to finish intense workouts at least three hours before hitting the sheets.
When to seek professional help
While many women navigate perimenopause with a combination of lifestyle changes and home remedies, it’s essential to recognize when professional intervention might be necessary.
If sleep disturbances are chronic, leading to extreme fatigue, affecting daily functioning, or causing emotional distress, it’s time to consult a healthcare provider. They might recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or other treatments to manage specific symptoms. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to perimenopause. Your journey is unique, and so should your solutions.
Perimenopause, with all its challenges, also offers an opportunity. It’s a time for self-reflection, growth, and understanding our bodies more deeply than ever before.
By prioritizing sleep during this phase, not only can we alleviate some of the discomforts associated with hormonal fluctuations, but we also set the stage for success in our professional and personal lives. Embrace this phase, armed with knowledge, patience, and a plush helix mattress, and sleep like the queen you are.