12 Tips to improve your quality of sleep during menopause and perimenopause




 During menopause and perimenopause your ovaries begin to produce less hormones.  This drop in hormone levels causes menopausal symptoms such as mood swings, hot flashes, excessive sweating.  Unfortunately, because of lower progestrone levels,  many woman also experience poor quality sleep.    They often feel tired and sleepy all day,  wake up too early, don’t feel refreshed or rested after sleeping and struggle to get to sleep at night.  



Why we need sleep.



Recently I listened to an interview on the radio with the neuroscientist Matthew Walker talking about the importance of sleep.   Walker believes that if we routinely sleep less than six or seven hours a night, which is common in menopausal women, then we are not getting enough sleep.  His research findings link this lack of enough sleep to health problems such as poor immune function, a higher risk of cancer and heart disease, blood sugar imbalances (which can lead to pre-diabetes), weight gain, depression and anxiety.   Walker’s explanation of how coffee, sleeping pills, jet lag and the modern world can contribute to poor quality sleep was fascinating.  


Walker believes there are a number of things we can do to get better sleep.  Below are some suggestions to help you improve your quality of sleep during menopause and perimenopause.   


12 Tips to improve your quality of sleep during menopause and perimenopause


  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even at the weekends.
  • Exercise is good for improving sleep quality but make sure it is  no later than two to three hours before your bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine – they are stimulants and stop you sleeping.  Avoid coffee, certain teas, chocolate in the late afternoon.  Caffeine can take as long as eight hours to wear off fully. 
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed – these can interfere with deep sleep and also breathing, 
  • Avoid large meals and drinks late at night – a light snack is fine but a large meal can cause indigestion and stop you sleeping.  Drinking at night can cause too many trips to the loo.
  • Avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep (if possible) – some medication can contribute to insomnia. If this is the case for you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist and ask if you can take them at other times instead of just before bed.
  • Don’t take naps after 3pm – naps before 3pm are fine but after that they can make it harder to fall asleep at night,
  • Relax before bed – reading or listening to music are great ways to unwind before bed.
  • Have a hot bath before bed – the warmth can help to relax you and slow you down.  Also when you get out of the bath your body temperature drops and this can help to make you feel sleepy.
  • Keep your bedroom dark, cool, and gadget free  – noises, bright lights, too warm, uncomfortable beds, TV, phones can distract you from sleep.
  • Get into natural sunlight for at least 30 mins each day – daylight helps to regulate daily sleep patterns.
  • Don’t lie in bed awake – if you are feeling anxious or worried or you are still awake after more than 20 mins. Get up and do some relaxing activity until you feel sleepy.  I find reading helps when this happens to me.


Remember don’t try and incorporate all 12 habits at once, this could overwhelm you.  Start with just one or two, then add in another one when you feel ready.



Resource: Why We Sleep – Matthew Walker (2017)




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I am a Licensed women's vitality and life coach, a registered nutritional therapist, personal trainer and pilates teacher from London. I support menopausal/perimenopausal women reclaim their confidence, feel amazing and enjoy their life more.

Source of statistics: thebms.org.uk

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© Loliya Harrison   |   Website by The Good Alliance

© Loliya Harrison
Website by The Good Alliance