Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A Sleep Plan for Me

A quick update on the first step in my Menopause Moi Makeover plan…
I am taking my own advice from the Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep post and trying to come up with some simple changes to improve my trips to the Land of Nod.

Right now I am sleeping better anyway, as the hot flashes have subsided, but I want to start some good habits now, to be ready should they return.

In that post there are several things listed that I already do (or don’t do, as the case may be!) – I don’t eat or exercise within three hours of bedtime and I keep the bedroom cool.  Even before menopause, I found I slept better when the thermostat was turned down.
During the week I keep to a pretty consistent sleep schedule, thanks largely to my Hubby who has to get up early for work, so goes to bed at a reasonable hour every night. 

However, at the weekends this tends to go for ‘you-know-what’, as I stay up later to watch that movie or finish the chapter in the book.  To compensate, I leave the alarm turned off, so usually get up later than I do during the week as well.
This is one area that I am going to try to improve on.

I regret to say that I have no intention of avoiding either caffeine or alcohol (anyone who knows me personally won’t be surprised by this!).  I don’t believe in ever saying never, but as it is, I’ve already cut back on both of those things drastically over the years, so just can’t see eliminating them completely!

On the other hand, there are some things that I don’t currently do that I am adding to my ‘sleep arsenal’.  I have started doing yoga.  It’s only once a week and I’ve only been going a couple of weeks; so far though, it seems to be quite calming and relaxing.  It’s also really good for my tight muscles.
The other thing I tried, just before the hot flashes stopped, was melatonin.  It worked in helping me sleep through some of the hot flashes and in calming my mind.  I felt pretty comfortable with this for occasional use, as I had used it before, for jet-lag. 

I stress that this is a personal decision though and would recommend that others check with their doctors first.  As it is, I’m going to be asking my own about the safety of using it on an on-going basis.  I would also say that anecdotally, and from my own experience, less is more with melatonin; half, or less, of the recommended dose seems to work better.
So that’s the plan for now.  Here’s to sweet dreams!


Image courtesy of Tambako the Jaguar

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