Answers to Your Questions About Insomnia and Menopause
Q: Could menopause be causing my insomnia?
A: Absolutely. Many women who are going through menopause experience difficulties sleeping. Menopause causes a drop in the level of serotonin in the brain, which has been linked to insomnia and is usually caused by the drop in estrogen levels.
Insomnia and wakefulness may also be due to the changes in temperature that your raging hormones cause. Although you may not feel hot when you awake, it is still possible that your temperature has risen (or dropped) causing your body to wake you up. Many women report hot flashes and/or night sweats during or immediately after waking in the middle of the night.
Q: Are there ways to prevent the night sweats that are waking me up?
A: Hot flashes and night sweats are frequently a cause of wakefulness in menopausal women and these symptoms may be controlled with natural progesterone. You might find a natural progesterone cream to be useful against hot flashes, as well as night sweats.
By eliminating PMS, hot flashes and the like during the day, you will also be able to relax better at night when it is time to sleep.
Q: Can I use herbs to help me sleep?
A: There are several herbs that help combat insomnia, especially in menopausal women. Herbs such as chamomile, peppermint, valerian root and kava kava can be used, alone or in combination. You may want to take these herbs in a tea, since a warm drink at bedtime is relaxing and can also help induce sleep. Also, natural progesterone has been known to help women sleep better at night.
Q: Can natural hormones help me avoid insomnia?
Natural hormones can be very helpful in eliminating or greatly reducing the frequency of night sweats, one of the most common causes of waking up in the night. Natural hormones help regulate your own unstable hormone levels, making it easier for your body to maintain a balance. This can result in fewer symptoms, not just those causing the insomnia.
Q: Which natural hormone products are best?
A: A natural progesterone cream is a good way to go. It is easy to apply and can help you get a good night’s sleep. However, you need to be careful when choosing a progesterone cream. Look for one that doesn’t contain a lot of extra ingredients which could cause side effects. The purer the progesterone, the better.
Q: What else can I do to prevent insomnia?
A: Apart from herbal remedies and natural hormones, you can try to maintain a regular bedtime schedule.This should include a winding down period before you try to sleep, watching a movie or reading a book.
Avoiding alcohol and caffeine is a good start toward a proper night’s sleep. You should also avoid taking naps during the day so you can sleep better at night. Napping causes a vicious circle of wakefulness. Also, stick to exercising in the morning, since this can get your heart pumping and may stimulate you too much to fall asleep. A gentle stroll after dinner is fine, though.
Q: Should I take sleeping pills if I can’t sleep?
A: In general, it is not a good idea to take sleeping pills. Try a natural sleep remedy instead, such as SleepEase spray which won’t cause dependency. If you take sleeping pills for an extended period of time, you may find that you cannot sleep without them. Natural sleep aids or natural progesterone are better options.
Q: Is this permanent or will I be able to sleep again someday?
A:Don’t worry, once your hormone levels normalize, your sleeping habits should go back to normal. Menopausal insomnia is generally hormone-related and not permanent.
©Alternative Medicine Network 2009
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