Being a woman at 50, I can relate to many women and their experience of night sweats keeping them awake at night. There were many morning where I would wake up exhausted and dreading the day ahead of me. I yearned for my younger years when I was able to jump out of bed after being out for the evening.
Those mornings are no longer a part of my morning ritual. Instead I awake feeling refreshed and energised and ready to take on whatever challenges the day brings. I am going to share with you my secret to having a great nights sleep with NO hot flushes, just peaceful sweet dreams.
One of the biggest issues concerning menopausal women is the lack of “quality” sleep at night. Many women have relayed to me that they now dread going to sleep at night as they do not look forward to the exhaustion they feel when they wake in the morning. This discussion is to assist you with your menopause and sleep, namely how to improve your sleep patterns.
I have asked many women what were their main reasons for not being able to sleep at night. The top responses includes hot flushes, stress, anxiety, restless leg syndrome, palpitations (rapid heart beat), and panic attacks, as well as the need to go to the toilet multiple times throughout the night.
Many women reported to me that they were taking antidepressants, sedatives and even antihistamines to help with the insomnia but these interventions were not giving them the response they hoped for. The reality of a peaceful nights sleep and waking refreshed seemed to be an impossible dream.
My aim here is to get you back on track and having not only a peaceful sleep but also a sleep that will have you waking refreshed and ready partake in all activities you need to do in you day. Once you achieve a night’s sleep with minimal interruptions, you will wake up more refreshed, full of energy and vitality, as well as calm and relaxed.
One woman, Sally, mentioned that the reason that she could not get a good nights sleep was due to the fact that she had to go to the toilet at least three times a night. Her doctor subsequently prescribed her a diuretic to take every morning. I discussed with Sally what her regular fluid intake was like which we wrote it down to see if there was anything out of the ordinary. Sally was surprise to see that she would regularly not drink during the day due to work restraints. Sally realised that she would come home at 6pm and would drink roughly 2 litres of water until she went to bed due to the fact that she did not make water a priority at work. No wonder she had to go to the toilet so many times in the evening. Once she realised what she was doing, Sally made a conscious effort to drink more during the day, thus she was not coming home so thirsty. Needlessly to say, the nightly visits to the toilet stopped and she has since stopped taking the diuretic (under the guidance of her doctor).
Not every-one will have such obvious solutions but there are many ways to address insomnia and sleep disturbance during the menopause.
My number one tip would have to be: Give your LIVER a good overhaul.
Your liver needs to be in tip top condition in order for it to handle the changing hormone levels that occurs during menopause and a detox is a great way to get it in tip top shape!
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Your liver is your body’s primary detoxifier and keeping it healthy is critical to proper functioning of your hormones. Specific liver functions that assist with hormone harmony include:
If your liver becomes overburdened, toxins can build up and excess accumulates in your body leading to more intense and more frequent hot flushes and night sweats
Most of us are not eating enough RAW, Green Leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, rocket, endives, silver beet or beetroot leaves and this has an amazing impact on how our bodies are processing the fluctuating hormones of progesterone and oestrogen that occurs during menopause.
Green Leafy Vegetables are also a great source of calcium. Many women are taking calcium and magnesium in supplement form which the body may not be absorbing very well. By getting your minerals from your diet is the best way for the body to recognise and absorb these nutrients. Lack of calcium can contribute to anxiety or panic disorder while a lack of magnesium can lead to irritability, anxiety and depression.
Greens also nourishes your gut by providing a diverse gut microflora as well as supporting healthy skin and decreasing inflammation.
Many of the symptoms of menopause can be traced back to an inflammatory process occurring in the body and this is where this Green Smoothie is a great way to start the day and help with decreasing any inflammation.
One great way to increase your green intake is to have a Green Smoothie every morning. Here is my Ultimate Green Smoothie Recipe that is quick and easy to prepare and also a recipe that the whole family will love.
1 stick celery
1 cup spinach
1/4 lime, peeled
1-2 tablespoons hemp powder
1 cup water
Simply blend all the ingredients in a high powered blender for one minute until smooth.
This amazing Green Smoothie will certainly give you a bit of a zing in the morning. The cucumber and celery are both natural diuretics that help flush out toxins and decrease any puffiness you may be experiencing in your face or legs.
Spinach contain flavonoids and antioxidants, particularly beta-carotene which possess anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties as well as helping to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.
Spinach is also high in iron which is beneficial for vegetarians or anyone low in energy which may be linked to low iron levels. Spinach also increases muscle efficiency and has strong anti-ageing properties.
Apples have the ability to boost estrogen levels in menopausal women to a great extent. They are an excellent source of fiber; one medium apple contains 5 grams of fiber, including the soluble fiber pectin. Apples contain high levels of boron, which increases mental alertness as well as preventing osteoporosis and strengthen bones. Most of the antioxidants in apples, including Quercetin, are found in the skin so be sure to add the apple to this Green Smoothie with the skin on.
A nifty trick to prevent fresh apple juice from turning brown is to add a few squeezes of lemon juice or lime juice. This helps prevent oxidation.
Limes: While they break down of the macromolecules of the food, the Flavonoids, the compounds found in the fragrant oils extracted from lime, stimulate the digestive system and increase secretion of digestive juices, bile and acids. This flood of flavonoids also stimulate the peristaltic motion. The citric acid present in lime is an excellent fat burner.
Hemp contains protein and essential fatty acids which helps to conserve muscle integrity which is often lacking in menopausal women. It also helps to slow down the release of the nutrients in this Green Smoothie, and thus slows down the rapid blood sugar spikes that can often happen with Green Smoothies (although making this Green Smoothie high in green ingredients slows this process also).
If you are ready take action and rid yourself of Hormonal Disharmony as well as the following;
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