Will Menopause Fatigue Last Forever?
by Dr. LaReesa Ferdinand, MD OBGYN & Advisor,
Bossa Bars Menopause Energy Bars
“There will be plenty of time to sleep when you are dead.” — Benjamin Franklin
Yikes! I’m sorry Benjamin Franklin, you may have been one of the greatest inventors and writers of American history, but obviously, you weren’t speaking to menopausal women!
Sleep is literally the superfood that has the most impact. The true nectar of life. The super fuel you need. Frankly, this is where the magic happens.
With the decline of vital hormones during menopause, sleep disturbances are very common. With the vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and the load of stress, it can take much of the joy and ease out of transitioning into menopause.
Research has found that those with higher perceived stress experienced shorter sleep durations. In fact, moderate to severe sleep deprivation produces impairments similar to alcohol intoxication, or blood alcohol levels of 0.05%.
Did you know that about 61% of menopausal women struggle with sleep issues? This means that out of every 10 women around the age of menopause, 6 will have sleeping difficulties.
And maybe you’re one of them. You head to bed, exhausted. Yet, you toss and turn all night. Or you find yourself getting up every night between the hours of 2 and 3 am, struggling to fall back asleep. You then go about your day in a fog. You just don’t have the energy to function at your peak capacity. Ugh!
Enough is enough!
3 Power Tips to Ease into Restful Sleep
1. Prioritize sleep at the top of your day
If you are a night owl, lean into that. Vice versa if you are an early bird.
Simply explained, set yourself up for sleep success. Go to bed and wake up at the same time. Be mindful of meals and excess snacking throughout your day. Limit caffeine to only before noon. Ideally, consume the least heavy meal toward the end of the day so your body has less of a detox burden during sleep. This improves energy for memory storage and creativity that you need to power through the next day. This is directly impacted by what you do and what you put in your body.
Here’s a nifty tip we often forget: adjust your supplements or medications since some may make you more drowsy versus alert. This forces your body into its natural circadian rhythm.
2. Maximize your sleep environment
Sleep is maximized on a light spectrum. Quiet, cold, and dark areas are ideal. Use a sleep mask to optimize darkness. Red light or specialty sleep bulbs help reduce excess blue light exposure. Avoid sleeping with the TV on or using electronic devices at least 1-2 hours before lights out. This is vital during bedtime to help melatonin, our sleep-inducing hormone, work its menomagic. The goal? You want to get your body out of a stressed state and transition more into a relaxed and calm one.
3. Track your sleep
The science about sleep may be up to the physicians and researchers, but you can still arm yourself with your own personal KPI (key performance indicators). To better evaluate adjustments and modifications in your sleep, following trends is an added bonus of what technology can do. This goes a step further than just total time spent asleep; it recognizes and brings daily awareness to patterns that you may miss. It connects the missing links between sleep duration and your body’s response during sleep stages, reactions to stress, and efficiency. These key insights can help navigate making the necessary adjustments to improve productivity and memory consolidation that is a natural defense system for cognitive decline as we age.
Let’s think about what goes on during a typical day. Our brain processes millions of movements, thoughts, and patterns, most of them without our awareness. However, one of the greatest energy expenditures occurs during sleep. This is the time when our cellular mitochondria, the powerhouses in our DNA, go to work orchestrating the repair and recovery productions. These repair mechanisms are controlled by the communication of our brain and body with our natural clocks, rhythms, and hormones.
But generally, when you’re stressed, sleep and high levels of energy don’t come easy.
Stress is one factor that can impact your telomere length. Thus, stress can actually cause you to age faster (probably no surprise there) but it can also decrease your longevity. Sleep Disruptions can lead to a propensity toward obesity and metabolic disorders, and affect the extent to which we are able to express energy and harness our power to push through the next day.
The goal? You want to get your body out of this stressed state. To do so, you want to look at optimizing your biological and bedroom environment. The lack of sleep impacts your daily energy, recovery and repair mechanisms, weight loss goals, cognitive performance, and immune system.
Fatigue doesn’t last forever if you are intentional about sleep. Start with these 3 steps as a foundation to sleep like a beauty, so you can go beast mode the next day. That’s menomagic
Dr. LaReesa Ferdinand, MD OBGYN & Advisor,
Bossa Bars Menopause Energy Bars
Editor’s note: Love love love Bossa Bars – all natural superfood – and chocolate so it’s a real treat as well as being healthy. I’m a huge fan. Click here for more info: Bossa Bars. Many thanks to Dr. Ferdinand for this insightful post.
Codes of longevity. Be Ageless and Limitless. Dr. Melissa Grill Petersen. Contributing author Dr. LaReesa Ferdinand, MD. December 2020.