“The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4 am knows all my secrets.”
― Poppy Z. Brite
When women gather, one of the most frequent comments I hear is, “I’m so freak’n tired!” Oh, do I feel you, sister! Quality sleep, for many of us too-busy women, is elusive. I wrote this blog a little while back, but the suggestions are still viable. Please let me know what works for you. Perhaps between us, we can fall asleep and stay asleep until morning.
It’s 1 a.m., and your digital alarm clock is taunting you. Those little blue numerical lights bathe, and bathe, and bathe your wide-open eyeballs. You close your peepers with determination, hug your pillow for dear life, and will yourself to let go. Sleep! You NEED sleep. Ten minutes later you find yourself staring at the clock again while your husband snores peacefully.
You could commit husband-a-cide, but it’s really not his fault that he is sleeping and you’re not. Insomnia occurs more commonly in women. Yay. Add menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and more frequent nighttime urination, and it becomes an uphill battle to get the healing sleep needed. So what are some tips to overcome the lack of quality sleep? Here are five you may not be aware of:
1. Try drinking a STRONG cup of chamomile tea 45 minutes before bedtime. Dr. Low Dog recommends using 2 or 3 chamomile tea bags to one cup of boiling water. Steep for five minutes and sip slowly. Source: Women’s Health in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, p. 188.
2. Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible. That irritating alarm clock with its glowing digital numbers right next to your bed? Evil! Even a small amount of light can interfere with your brain hormones and circadian rhythms. If you just can’t get the room dark, try wearing a sleep mask.
3. Try an herbal supplement meant for sleep. I have been using Alteril on occasion and like it. Take one or two pills at least an hour before you want to fall asleep. The ingredients sleep-inducing ingredients are: L-tryptophan, the amino acid glycine, melatonin, and a proprietary blend of GABA, skullcap root extract, valerian root extract, chamomile extract, hops extract, and passion flower extract. As with any supplement, do your research and decide if it is right for you. I have had no side effects and wake up feeling alert instead of sluggish.
4. According to Susun S. Weed (New Menopausal Years The Wise Woman Way, p.131), a bedtime dose of 500 mg of Calcium can induce a good night’s sleep.
5. Dr. David Williams suggests making a sleep-inducing “serotonin shake” (or walnut milk) by blending 1/8, to 1/4 cup of walnuts with an equal amount of skim milk about 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime. For even more significant benefits, you could also include a teaspoon of ground flaxseeds and/or raw sunflower seeds, a tablespoon of lecithin granules, and a dash of powdered cinnamon and vanilla extract. The walnuts alone will do the trick, but you can experiment a little with the other items to come up with your own personal formula. However, it’s best to try and keep the finished mixture around 1/2 to 3/4 cup. Source: Dr. DavidWilliams.com
So there you go. A few ways to find your way back to a restful night’s sleep and maybe, just maybe, start liking your husband again.