To be honest, I would have posted this tip as Day 1 but didn’t want to scare you off! Alcohol is the number one sin in perimenopause. There’s a vast amount of evidence to prove alcohol triggers symptoms, such as sleep disruption (waking up in the night), anxiety and low mood, hot flushes and night sweats. As we learned yesterday, lower levels of oestrogen mean we have less water in our bodies to dilute the effects of alcohol. As our bodies are designed to repel toxins (including alcohol), energy is diverted away from hormone production and towards detoxifying. When it comes to sleep, as well as blocking REM sleep, alcohol boosts a sleep-inducing chemical called adenosine which increases the onset of sleep, but it quickly drops after a few hours causing us to wake in the middle of the night. This often coincides with the time when the production of cortisol, our stress hormone, is rising, ready for us to awake in a few hours’ time. This is why we feel more anxious in the night than in daytime.
Here are some simple tips to reduce your alcohol intake:
• Make a note what your alcohol triggers & habits are – are there visual cues or situations that make you reach for a ‘drink’? Once you are aware of these it’s easier to find ways to create new positive rituals and responses • Once you know what your triggers are try to remove them • Swap your favourite tipple with low alcohol / alcohol-free version • Drink water alongside or in between drinking alcohol • Stop drinking alcohol 2 hours before bedtime • Find other ways to manage anxiety, such as mindfulness, exercise, journaling, or talking through your worries are more effective to our wellbeing when we hit 40.
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