Menopause and Sleep Problems: What can I do?

Do you remember a time when you could just get into bed, close your eyes and drift off to sleep? 😴

Unfortunately, sleepless nights and restless legs are some of the many side effects of the menopause and if you’re reading this, the chances are you’re looking for a way to cope.

Here to help you is Menopause Nutritionist, Charlotte Hunter. If you’re going through menopause and a good night’s sleep sounds like a distant memory, then her advice is a must-read.

Why are menopause symptoms worse at night?

“Sleep disturbance is one of the most debilitating symptoms of menopause and to add insult to injury, sleep deprivation will make other menopausal symptoms so much worse, especially scorching hot flushes, night sweats, fatigue, and mood swings.

As a result of the hormonal changes experienced in menopause, many women suffer from low mood and fatigue. Unfortunately, when you're tired, low, and menopausal, it's very easy to reach for carbohydrates, sugar-laden snacks, or energy drinks.

Just try to remember, the quick fix will short-live the effects, and you may feel worse.”

What can I do to get a better night’s sleep?

“A healthy diet with good supplements can support the many metabolic pathways responsible for mental and physical well-being, especially when the body needs it the most.

A few nutrients can aid a good night's sleep alongside good hydration and a balanced diet that includes plenty of protein, fibre, and healthy fats.

Focusing on positive nutrition and embracing a healthy Mediterranean diet packed with lean proteins, healthy oils, and plenty of colourful fruit and vegetables alongside a balanced supplement can do wonders for your mood and vitality.”

What can I take for sleep problems in menopause?

Sleep is a basic human need and a lack of it can be crippling. But there are things you can introduce to your diet to help and below Charlotte explains what works best for menopause and sleep.

Ashwagandha has long been used as a remedy to promote 'inner calm' and is known as an adaptogenic herb. Taken in supplementary form, it encourages the body to adapt to emotional, physical, and environmental stressors. Studies have shown that ashwagandha may help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and achieve better quality sleep.

Chamomile is a traditional herb used to aid sleep. It contains apigenin, a flavonoid that binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain. As a tea or supplement, chamomile may exert a sedative effect to help you sleep.

Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, helps the body make energy from fats and carbohydrates. It's also involved in producing adrenal hormones and red blood cells. 

Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, supports the production of proteins in the body. It's essential in forming neurotransmitters, red blood cells, and prostaglandins. In addition, it helps maintain proper immune function and hormone balance. 

Found in every single cell of your body and brain, B6 enhances cognition, energy, hearing, and vision, improves mood, lowers anxiety, and balances cholesterol. 

Vitamin B6 is big news in terms of sleep because the synthesis of neurotransmitters is entirely dependent. Neurotransmitters such as dopamine, GABA, melatonin, serotonin, and noradrenalin work harmoniously. Therefore, even a mild deficiency of B6 will reduce their production, leading to poor sleep, irritability, and stress. 

B6 acts as a co-factor in converting 5HTP to serotonin, essential to produce melatonin, our 'sleepy hormone.' 

Melatonin is a neurotransmitter-like hormone produced by the brain in response to darkness. It controls our circadian rhythms, which is like an internal 24-hour clock. Levels start to rise about two hours before bedtime and prepare your body for sleep. We can maximise this process by adopting good sleep hygiene.” 

How can Issviva's range of menopause supplements help?

“We know that improved sleep eases stress, reduces daytime fatigue, and supports healthier blood sugar balance. But, during menopause, good sleep hygiene isn't always enough.

Sometimes you need a helping hand and Issviva has created something special with its range of supplements. Rather than a one size fits all menopause product, they focus on two specific areas: Sleep and Mood & Energy

This targeted approach means you can select the right solution for your menopause, whether that's trouble sleeping or you're feeling fatigued. 

Unfortunately, supplements are not a magic wand, so for best results, combine them with relaxing routines and good sleep hygiene to maximise their effects.”

If you’ve found this article helpful and would like more information on Issviva’s range of menopause products, then pop into our online shop or join Issviva’s Facebook community for more help and support.

Wishing you sweet dreams and a restful night’s sleep, from all of us here at Issviva 💤