There are habitual and nutritional changes that you can implement in your life to promote better sleep in menopause.
Finding sleep solutions that actually help
It’s extremely frustrating when you’re laying in bed, and you’re so tired. But you just can’t sleep. It often happens on the nights that you have something important the next day. Or maybe it happens more times than not. All you want is sleep to recover from the day, but you can’t figure out why your mind can’t shut down.
There are remedies that can help in that very moment and in the short term, but those often don’t solve the actual issue of why we can’t sleep. And those temporary remedies may interfere with the quality of sleep. Focusing on how we can truly help our bodies long term can give the relief we’re looking for.
Proven techniques that can improve your sleep
An amino acid that comes from meats and other proteins. It is also a precursor of melatonin (i.e., a hormone that promotes sleepiness) and may help with overall sleep quality. In one research study, it was found that sleep quality was increased in people with certain genetic material (specific alleles for a specific part of a gene) when given tryptophan (Dalfsen and Markus, 2019).
This is another amino acid that is actually found in green tea, and recent research has linked it with increased sleep quality (Hidese, et al., 2019). It’s thought that L-theanine interacts with another amino acid to change chemical signals that start in the brain and move to the rest of the body.
While limited, some research says that magnesium supplementation may help with sleep since magnesium is involved in hormone regulation and the sleep wake cycle. The presence of magnesium might affect the way our sleep cycle progresses, thus keeping us awake for longer and lessening how much deep sleep we get in a night (Mah and Pitre, 2021).
Multiple research studies have shown that exercise can improve the quality of one’s sleep most likely due to different chemical changes in the brain. Although the reasoning is not yet clear, it was found that middle-aged women’s quality of sleep improved when they engaged in low to moderate exercise for 12 weeks (Rubio-Arias, et al., 2017).
Keeping a schedule
Having a regular sleep schedule is important for sleep duration. Research done on university students showed that students who had an irregular sleep time actually slept less per day on average compared to those with a regular sleep schedule (Kang and Chen, 2009). Getting ready for bed and sleeping at the same time every day might help you sleep longer and feel better with your sleep schedule.
Turning the light low at night
The amount of melatonin that is produced depends on the light we’re exposed to during the day, and humans’ circadian cycles are heavily influenced by light (Touitou, et al. 2017). Turning the lights to a lower setting or using less lights will allow this natural occurrence to happen leading up to bedtime, which is when it’s supposed to happen.
For more tips and to never miss an update, sign up for Shevolve Nutrition newsletter.