No one ever promised that ageing would always be pleasant, but does it have to come with so many side effects? Millions of women are surprised to find that they start to struggle with menopause insomnia once their bodies turn fifty, making a good night’s sleep more elusive than ever before.
Tossing and turning on your pillow won’t leave you feeling rested, but thankfully there are things you can do to treat menopause, insomnia and sleeplessness. Natural sleep aids and supplements are available in a variety of forms and lend themselves well to relieving memenopause symptoms. Supplementing in the right way will help you fall asleep faster and help to ensure you don’t wake up in the night.
There’s no need to let your changing hormones leave you feeling cranky in the mornings, we’ll take you through what it takes to sleep soundly again during menopause.
What is Menopause Insomnia?
Menopause is a time of substantial hormonal changes that most women start to experience around the age of 50.
Symptoms start during the perimenopause (transition to menopause) phase and once you officially reach menopause. This is one year after your last menstrual period. During this time your ovaries are creating intense physical and emotional changes for your body. This is because they begin to dramatically lower your hormone production, especially oestrogen and progesterone.
As these levels fall within your body, you might experience unexpected side effects like insomnia. This is defined as having difficulty getting adequate sleep, and the National Sleep Foundation reports that it’s a condition that affects over 61% of menopausal women.
Symptoms of menopause insomnia
Are you experiencing both menopause and insomnia? Having any of the following symptoms is a sign that you are.
- Get fewer than six hours of sleep at least half the nights of every week
- Don’t feel rested once you wake up
- Take more than thirty minutes to fall asleep
- Continuously feel stressed about sleep
- Wake up earlier than you want most mornings
Then you likely have an unaddressed menopause sleep issue.
The importance of sleep for overall health
Why should getting enough sleep be such a concern? In short, your sleep level makes a significant difference in every other aspect of your life. Not only will being short on rest leave you crabby and with tension headaches, but it can also increase your chances of suffering a range of health issues and it reduces your problem-solving abilities.
Clearly, if you care about your health, you’ve got to make getting quality sleep your number one priority.
Natural ways to sleep better with menopause insomnia
Now here’s the good news. There’s lots you can do to get your sleep schedule back on track and deal with menopause and waking up at night for good.
Some of the top suggestions for treating insomnia include shutting down your electronics an hour before going to bed, setting up your bedroom so that all you do is sleep in it, and eating earlier in the day so that you aren’t digesting food when you hit the pillow.
Because your body temperature rises during menopause, it’s common to experience hot flashes that make it hard to sleep, or even jerk you awake. Frequent hot flashes will mess with your sleep levels, leading to fatigue the next day. To keep their body temperature under control, some women take a hot bath immediately before bed. As the body cools immediately after, you’ll start to feel drowsy.
But what if that’s not enough?
Insomnia from menopause is often harder to treat than standard sleep problems, meaning that you may need to consider a more intensive method like hormone replacement therapy, taking a low dose of birth control, or even a regular antidepressant but these often come with undesirable side effects.
Another strategy that is especially effective is to take a natural melatonin supplement to restore your sleep cycle.
Natural melatonin for menopause insomnia relief
You’ve probably heard of melatonin before. This natural hormone helps control your sleep and wake cycles to ensure you get the rest you need each night.
The reason you wake up during the day and fall asleep at night is attributed to the light levels around you. Exposure to light stimulates a neural passage between your eye and the brain’s hypothalamus and the pineal gland. This gland is inactive throughout the day, but it gets “turned on” at night and starts producing melatonin to release into the bloodstream, usually around nine pm.
As your melatonin concentration increases, you’ll start to feel sleepy. Levels typically stay high throughout the night, and they fall back down by 9 am.
The problems occur when melanin production doesn’t happen as it should. Maybe you’re surrounded by too much light during evening hours, or perhaps the sensor in your brain isn’t interpreting darkness like normal.
In either case, a lower-than-average melatonin level might be the cause of your sleep problems. As women approach menopause, melatonin serum levels decrease at a gradual rate, making it more difficult for your body to have an internal sense of when it needs to be awake or asleep.
Best natural melatonin sources for treating menopause insomnia
Thankfully, you can source melatonin naturally in your diet if your body isn’t producing enough from food like Montmorency cherries (tart cherries), grape seeds, tomatoes, bell peppers, walnuts, and a few other foods.
Melatonin is illegal to sell in the UK. If you are considering sourcing it from the US, approach with caution: the FDA doesn't regulate synthetic melatonin production, and the amount of melatonin within supplements can vary significantly. One study revealed that melatonin levels in drugstore supplements varied by as much as 83 percent less or 478 percent more, depending on the brand.
We recommend boosting your melatonin levels with a natural melatonin supplement, like Montmorency cherry or grape skin extract.
Other ingredients also pair well with melatonin for relief from menopause insomnia, including magnesium and 5-HTP. Healthline states that the mineral magnesium is a natural sleep aid because it activates the parasympathetic nervous system to help you relax. Likewise, the amino acid 5-HTP helps your body produce more serotonin, promoting a feeling of relaxation.
Don’t leave your dose level up to chance if you’re interested in taking melatonin for sleep problems. A better idea is to get your supplement from a natural, trusted source, rather than a synthetic one so that you know the ingredients are all natural and effective. We explain five easy ways you can boost your natural melatonin for sleep here.
L-Tryptophan for menopause insomnia relief
The following applies to both women and men - as our bodies age, our production of tryptophan depleting enzymes increase, hence why so many older people suffer with sleep problems, including insomnia as they age.
Why is tryptophan important for sleep?
Tryptophan aids serotonin production and serotonin promotes feelings of well-being, and relaxation. Serotonin helps us to calm down and unwind. If we don’t have enough serotonin to naturally tranquillise our brains, we start to suffer from difficulty sleeping as we age.
A tryptophan and serotonin deficiency can result in sleep problems, as well as anxiety and depression.
Supplementing with a natural source of tryptophan can effectively aid a better night’s sleep.
The Restored Sleep Aid and menopause insomnia relief
At The Restored, we want to take the confusion out of sourcing supplements, so we created our Advanced Night-Time Nutrients as an optimal sleep aid which can be effective for menopause and insomnia.
Formulated by doctors, biochemists and expert nutritionists, our sleep aid contains a proprietary Melo-Fruit® blend with tart Montmorency cherry extract to provide you with natural melatonin for menopause relief. Other active ingredients that promote your health for better rest include magnesium, 5-HTP, tryptophan, taurine, and biotin. Together, they work to ensure you fall asleep faster each night.
Does our sleep aid really work? Previous customers certainly think so. Our survey of 100 customers showed 98% would recommend the supplement, 78% woke up less when taking it, and 77% got to sleep faster.
Don’t let menopause insomnia control your life any longer. Boost your melatonin levels naturally with our Advanced Night-Time Nutrients to finally get the sleep your body craves.