Most women experience sleep disturbances around menopause, especially if hormone changes provoke hot flashes at night. Most of us require between 6 and 9 hours of sleep to function at an optimal state. It may be of some comfort to know that both men and women report less restful sleep as they age. Many of you may already know and practice good sleep hygiene without the results you hoped for.
Just in case everyone is not aware of the basic guidelines, I thought we could review them. A regular sleep schedule is important but often difficult to maintain. Try to go to bed and get up at approximately the same time every day. Avoid heavy meals in the evening and be sure your room is quiet and dark. Even lighting from alarm clocks of other electronic devices can be problematic. It may be helpful to use a gentle fan to circulate the air and also provide “white noise”. The white noise may be helpful for some but bothersome for others. Avoiding alcohol and caffeine can help increase sleep efficiency and quality. Try not to exercise within 3 to 4 hours of bedtime as that can interfere with your ability to fall asleep.
If insomnia is a chronic problem regardless of lifestyle changes, consult with your physician. We all need our sleep and deprivation will eventually be detrimental to our health.