Sleep is often the number one thing we need to nail in perimenopause. Many women suffer with insomnia, an early indicator that our hormones are falling. Lower testosterone levels suppress melatonin that tells our body it’s time to go to sleep. A drop in progesterone reduces a chemical known as GABA that helps us relax into sleep and stay asleep. Finally, oestrogen helps produce serotonin, our happy hormone so when it's low it disrupts sleep. The overall impact of low and fluctuating hormones is poor quality sleep. It's very common for women to complain about waking up in the middle of the night, feeling anxious and agitated or feeling tired during the day. The result of poor quality sleep leads to elevated stress levels, lower mood and resilience, brain fog and fatigue.
For tonight, I’d like you to create your own 4-stage bedtime ritual to help you get to sleep. Each night you need to follow the same sequence at the same time which shouldn’t be hard as we don’t have any parties to go to! Choose calming activities that soothe you and get you in the mood for bed. For example, Step 1 might be dimming the lights or lighting a scented candle. Step 2 could be writing down a happy thought about the day. By writing this down, it helps you drift off to sleep in a positive and grateful mood. Or perhaps you would prefer to write down a list of worries or things you need to do tomorrow. By getting things off your chest, you are less likely to wake up from it in the middle of the night. For Step 3 consider listening to relaxing music or a night-time guided meditation to put you in a deep state of calm. We bloody love Bethany Auriel-Hagen’s sleep meditations @insighttimer. For Step 4, this may be putting on an eye mask, using a lavender rollerball behind your ears (the gateway to your endocrine system) or taking a few deep breaths so your abdomen expands. Over time, these associated sleep rituals will instantly put you in the right frame of mind to nod off quickly.