Research shows that 36% of UK adults struggle to get to sleep at least on a weekly basis. Add the perimenopause and menopause into the mix – insomnia can become an issue that affects your work, relationships and health. I don’t really struggle myself to fall asleep – my issue is that I am always tired and could easily sleep 12 hours a day. Which makes me think maybe the quality of my sleep isn’t what it should be. When TEMPUR® got in touch to share their pillows that aid sleep for World Sleep Day on March 18th (March is also National Sleep Awareness Month), I couldn’t wait to put them to the test and to share them with you.
Choose a quality pillow
I will share other ways to improve sleep that works for me, but first, let’s talk about this pillow. It is made from a special material, first developed by NASA, which actively cushions and supports your head, neck and shoulders, so you will feel supported all night long. It reduces tossing and turning and I can hand on heart say this is what happened to me. On the first night, I fell into a deep sleep and I really don’t think I moved all night. I think my body was in shock as the next day I felt so tired – from too much deep sleep. This soon subsided and has left me sleeping deeper and better. My husband suffers from poor sleep so he is now wrestling me to take my pillow!
They also have mattresses made with TEMPUR’s unique memory foam which I reckon we need to get next (ours is so old that we owe ourselves a new one!). Find out more about the whole range and their special mattress material here.
There are other things I have embraced to help with my sleep which are:
Turn down the temperature
While it is nice to be all warm and snuggly, you are better to sleep in a well-ventilated or cooler room. I turn the heating off as my husband refuses to sleep with the window open even in the summer! It is advised to do this before you go to bed to help tell your body that is it bedtime – your body temperature drops when you are asleep. For menopausal women, this is obvious especially as you may suffer from night sweats and probably already sleep with a fan on!
Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake
It is never a good idea to drink caffeine in the evening but many people drink alcohol to help them sleep. However, it really doesn’t help you have a good night’s sleep. When I quit alcohol completely in 2015 my sleep improved dramatically. When you drink alcohol you fall fast into a deep sleep but you don’t spend enough time in the Rapid Eye Movement stage of sleep (R.E.M.) which is the restorative part of sleep we all need.
Turn off technology
Blue light and loads of interaction with videos, adverts, breaking news updates, etc will affect our sleep. We are left with an overstimulated mind affecting our ability to fall asleep. It is a good idea to leave your phone in a different room entirely and invest in a good old-fashioned alarm clock instead to avoid seeing notifications and lights flashing.
Unwind with essential oils
Once you’ve ditched the tech, read a book in a relaxing bath with essential oils. Or burn a scented candle such as lavender. Take time to unwind and forget about the day, to clear your mind. I also find swimming in the early evening followed by a sauna helps me to unwind.
Choose nightwear from natural fibres
Wear comfortable nightwear at night; natural fibres such as cotton are better as they are breathable (useful for any night sweats). There are designs out there that are designed to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter too.
Try a weighted blanket
Restless legs are a common menopause symptom that can be relieved by adding a weighted blanket on top of your duvet. This may seem counterintuitive if you are too hot, but for me, it helps reduce the tossing and turning and makes me feel cosy in my cold room! These can be bought inline but I use a vintage eiderdown which does the trick too!
Here are just a few ideas – of course if you still struggle (especially if menopausal) then see a doctor.
This post is in conjunction with TEMPUR® but all thoughts are my own.