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Strategies for Sounder Sleep: Managing Insomnia During Perimenopause

If you're going through perimenopause, you may have noticed your sleep is becoming increasingly disturbed. Insomnia and nighttime waking tend to worsen during this transition to menopause, leaving you exhausted and irritable.

The hormonal fluctuations of perimenopause can significantly disrupt your sleep cycle. Declining estrogen levels and erratic shifts in progesterone can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep. Hot flashes and night sweats - hallmark symptoms of perimenopause - are also notorious sleep disrupters.

Additionally, some women develop sleep disorders like sleep apnea during perimenopause, which causes frequent awakenings due to interrupted breathing. Increased anxiety and depression during this transitional time can also interfere with getting restorative sleep.

While perimenopausal insomnia can be frustrating, there are steps you can take to promote better sleep. Make sure to read all the way to the end for my favorite tips (#11 and #12)

1. Stick to a Regular Sleep Schedule

Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends, to reinforce your body's circadian rhythms. Having a consistent sleep schedule helps promote better sleep.

2. Limit Daytime Naps

While napping can help make up for lost sleep, limit naps to 30 minutes or less. Longer naps can make it harder to sleep at night.

3. Exercise Daily

Regular exercise can help reduce insomnia symptoms. Aim for 20-30 minutes of moderate activity like walking or yoga. However, avoid vigorous workouts close to bedtime.

4. Avoid Stimulants at Night

Don't consume anything with caffeine, nicotine or alcohol within 4-6 hours of your bedtime. These stimulants make it harder to fall and stay asleep.

5. Optimize Your Sleep Environment

Keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet. Consider using blackout curtains, a fan, a white noise machine or earplugs if needed. Having a restful space sets you up for better sleep. I've been using a sleep mask lately and LOVE it.

6. Unwind Before Bed

Spend 30-60 minutes before bed doing relaxing activities like reading, meditating, or taking a warm bath. This helps transition your body into sleep mode.

7. Try CBT for Insomnia

Cognitive behavioral therapy helps change thought patterns that interfere with sleep. Work with a therapist trained in CBT-I techniques.

8. Consider Melatonin

Taking 1-3 mg of melatonin 30 minutes before bed can help regulate sleep-wake cycles. Consult your doctor before using.

9. Practice Mindfulness

Meditation, deep breathing, and mindfulness practices can reduce stress and racing thoughts at night. Apps like Calm provide guided meditations.

10. Avoid Screens Before Bed

Turn off TVs, phones, tablets and computers at least one hour before bedtime. The blue light from screens suppresses melatonin production.

11. Get Morning Sunlight

Exposure to bright morning light for at least 30 minutes helps reset your circadian rhythm and promote better nighttime sleep.

12. Discuss Hormone Replacement Therapy

HRT containing estrogen and progesterone can help stabilize hormones and improve perimenopausal insomnia. Estrogen reduces hot flashes while progesterone has sedative effects. Talk to your doctor about whether HRT is appropriate for your situation.

Putting it all Together

The hormonal changes of perimenopause can significantly disrupt sleep, but making lifestyle adjustments, using proven insomnia treatments, and considering hormone therapy can help you get the restorative sleep you need. With time and consistency using these tips, you can eliminate insomnia during this transitional stage.

At PrecisionMD Wellness and Weight Loss, we offer complete hormone testing and customized hormone replacement therapy programs to help address sleep issues related to perimenopause and menopause. If you're struggling with insomnia or other symptoms, schedule a consultation to see if our hormone therapies can help you finally get the restorative sleep you need. Schedule a consultation today! 

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