The Perimenopausal Homeschooler:: Sleep Disturbances

Welcome to The Perimenopausal Homeschooler series! Here I share some of my favorite tips for homeschooling and managing life with young children despite those lovely perimenopausal symptoms. At least when I remember. {wink} If you're new to this series, you may want to start here. {This is not just for homeschoolers. It just so happens that homeschooling is what I do with my days.}

 

 

"I just can't get to sleep. I know it's 2 a.m., but I'm laying in bed wide awake."
 

"Why, oh why did I wake up at 3:30 a.m.? I can't can't sleepy, so I guess I'm up."
 

"You're awake, too? I'm glad I'm not the only one."

 

Women in their 30's and 40's often develop sleep disturbances– difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep all night. I see my friends talking about it on Facebook all of the time. They're up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep. What many women do not realize is that this is a common occurrence during perimenopause and can easily be helped.
 

When I realized that I had begun the journey of perimenopause, it was because I was having sleep disturbances– namely nighttime wakefulness. I was waking at around 3:30 a.m. and could not go back to sleep for the rest of the night. It could quite some time for me to figure out that this was always happening in the first half of my cycle when estrogen should be the highest. Then I discovered that sleep disturbances are actually a symptom of perimenopause.
 

 

So what can you do to help you sleep during perimenopause?
 

 

  • No caffeine. Yep, any time of day caffeine can make it difficult to sleep at night. It may not have affected you that way before, but once in perimenopause your body works differently. {Plus, caffeine can increase your hot flashes, too.}

     

  • Stop all vigorous activity well before bedtime. It's important to let your body and mind begin to settle and relax so that you will be able to get sleepy. I have found that I even need to stop doing anything that invloves a deep level of thinking a few hours before bedtime or I won't get tired and will be awake half the night. If I'm readng, it must be very light, mindless reading. If I'm watching television, it can't be an interesting documentary or drama. It needs to be pure entertainment. If I'm knitting or crocheting, it needs to be a simple pattern. If I'm knitting lace, I'll just keep going all night long without a glimmer of sleepiness.

     

  • Remifemin! The best thing that I ever did for my sleep was to start taking Remifemin. (A brand of standardized black cohosh that has been used and tested in Europe for something like 30 years) It takes 6 weeks to really start seeing the benefits of Remifemin and 12 weeks to see the full benefits, but it is sooo worth the wait! It helps my nighttime wakefulness, insomnia, moodiness, and anxiety.

 

If you are in your 30's or 40's and are having dfficulties sleeping, you may want to have a look at this list of perimenopausal symptoms.
 

Perimenopause often begins far before we expect it.

 

Do you have perimenopausal sleep difficulties? What remedies have you found helpful?

 

 

If you have any questions about managing life or homeschooling in the midst of perimenopause, please leave your question in the comments.We can share with one another the things that we have found helpful, or not so helpful. You may also find this post helpful to understand what perimenopause is. There's power in numbers, ladies!

Come back in 4 weeks for the next Perimenopausal Homeschooler post, or subscribe and I'll send it straight to your inbox.

 

I got most of my information (and help) from The Change Before the Change : Everything You Need to Know to Stay Healthy in the Decade Before Menopause by Laura E. Corio, M.D. Remember, I am not a doctor. Before you start any sort of supplement, you should speak with your doctor to make sure that it is a good fit for you.

5 thoughts on “The Perimenopausal Homeschooler:: Sleep Disturbances

  1. Ever since reading your posts and talking with you, I don’t feel like I am going crazy anymore! 😉 Thank you for sharing what you have learned! 🙂

  2. Encouraging info. I have been suffering with middle of the night insomnia for years now. I have been so sleep deprived at times that I could barely function. My doctor has given me a medication to take occasionally and it has been a tremendous help. I also believe using prayer to calm yourself down before sleeping is wonderful. It really helps to take your stress and worries and give them to the Lord. 🙂

  3. I have this symptom occasionally. It used to be every night, but I think it was also associated with some heavy-duty stress I was having. I sometimes take melatonin, and that seems to help. I took it nightly for a while and it felt like a miracle! It seemed to wear off, though, so I quit taking it. Now I just take it occasionally and it helps again.

  4. Hi there! I know this is an old post but I’ve enjoyed reading your series on perimenopause.

    I have a question: Did you give up coffee? Where you a big coffee drinker?

    I love coffee. I drink 4 cups a day-2 in the a.m. and 2 after lunch. I only have trouble sleeping when Aunt Flo is visiting. :-/

    I was just wondering if you completely gave up coffee and if it helped.

    Many Thanks!

    1. I completely gave up caffeine. It did not help at all. I’m still up at 4 am many mornings and I switched to decaf three years ago. It did not help my mother either.

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