Sleep Tips from Midlife Health Coach Sue Page

This article was contributed by Sue Page, a certified nutrition coach specialized in working with women who are navigating the menopause transition. Through her business Forty Fifty Fabulous, she provides tailored wellness and nutrition coaching services specifically designed for women in midlife.

When you think about your health are you looking at your sleep?

Impacted sleep is the #1 symptom reported by menopausal women and yet many of us overlook its importance and the impact it can have on our overall health. Disturbed sleep plays a major role in weigh gain and weight loss efforts so it’s always the first area I address with my new nutrition clients. 

Sleep deprivation can disrupt Ghrelin and Leptin, the hormones that regulate appetite and hunger. Ghrelin levels, which stimulate appetite, tend to increase with sleep deprivation, while leptin levels, which signal satiety, tend to decrease. This imbalance can lead to increased appetite and food cravings, particularly for high-carb, calorie-dense foods.

Cortisol levels can also be affected, elevated cortisol can disrupt the body's natural circadian rhythm and contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety, further exacerbating sleep problems. High cortisol also leads to water retention which can cause you to feel bloated and mean that you’re not seeing weight loss on the scale.

So, what can you do?

I always recommend, non-medical or medicating interventions as the first line of defense and there are a few simple changes you can make that, if applied consistently, will reap rewards.

·        Look at Sleep Hygiene. This means establishing a consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine that can help regulate your body's internal clock and improve sleep quality. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends, to promote a more restful night's sleep.

 ·        Limit caffeine and alcohol. Keep your caffeine intake to earlier in the day so it doesn’t interfere with sleep quality and try to limit alcohol. Alcohol is not our friend in menopause; it can change the way your body metabolizes estrogen (how estrogen works in the body) which can cause blood estrogen levels to rise – meaning more hot flashes! Limit your intake, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.

·        Look at your environment. Keep your bedroom cool and comfortable and consider investing in moisture-wicking bedding and sleepwear to help manage these symptoms. Become Clothing has created a sleep wear range with patented Anti-Flush™ technology proven to provide immediate relief from hot flushes + sweats in four important ways, including wicking moisture away from the skin. Learn more about how it works here.  

·        Create a Bedtime Routine. Practice relaxation techniques and remove blue light and other electronic distractions. Read a book, practice deep breathing or meditation, take a relaxing bubble bath. Experiment with what you need to create a relaxing bedtime routine to prepare both your mind and body for sleep.

·        Evaluate your nutrition, especially if you find yourself waking up frequently during the night, as low blood sugar could be the culprit. Consider adding a small bedtime snack to stabilize your blood sugar levels something like Greek yoghurt with fruit or peanut butter on a slice of toast. Contrary to popular belief, eating carbs before bed won't make you gain weight and can promote better sleep!

·        I often recommend Magnesium as a bedtime supplement because it plays a crucial role in promoting relaxation and improving sleep quality and most of us don’t get enough of it in our diets. Magnesium can help to regulate neurotransmitters involved in sleep and relaxation, such as GABA, and can also help regulate the body's stress response. Additionally, magnesium is involved in the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.

Remember that it will take your body time to adjust. Your sleep schedule is like your diet and exercise routine so don’t expect overnight success! The key to all these changes is to do them consistently; think weeks and months vs just days. 3 months is a good timeline to aim for. Keep a journal so you can log any improvements that you notice and give your body time to adjust!

Sue is offering Become subscribers 1-month free coaching, (that's 4 months for the price of 3!) Just mention “Become” on your application form. Or schedule a 30 min consultation to learn more here.





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