Table of Contents
- What Is Menopause?
- Why am I Experiencing Low Energy During Menopause?
- What Are the Side Effects of Low Energy?
- How to Improve Sleep Quality
- Speak to Your Doctor
During menopause, 40-50% of women suffer from disturbed sleep. This lack of sleep can have severe side effects such as irregular moods and exhaustion.
The severe exhaustion women can experience during menopause isn’t just feeling tired. It can affect your whole life and your emotional wellbeing.
There are several reasons you may experience low energy during menopause. Let’s take a look at some of them and what you can do to stop feeling tired all the time.
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is when a woman stops her monthly cycle. Hormone changes in the body cause the ovaries to stop producing eggs, and a woman’s monthly bleeding stops. The transition can be challenging due to the many side effects.
Usually, women are aged 40-50 when they go through menopause, but it varies for everyone. Some women over 50 start their menopause; some are much younger.
The age you experience menopause is dependant on genetics as well as lifestyle factors such as smoking. Women who smoke tend to experience menopause earlier.
Why am I Experiencing Low Energy During Menopause?
The hormonal changes in your body during menopause can cause various side effects. Menopause symptoms include; hot flushes, depression, sexual dysfunction, stress, anxiety, and difficulty with sleep.
Once you know the side effects of menopause, you can decide how you want to treat them.
Lack of good sleep is the main reason women become exhausted during menopause. But what causes this disturbance in sleep?
Change in Hormones
When your body is going through the change of menopause, the amount of hormones in your system is in constant fluctuation. This can cause your brain to get seriously confused about sleep patterns.
Your hormone levels cause the body clock to get out of sync. This sleep disturbance is connected to low levels of estrogen. When your period stops, you also have lower levels of the hormone progesterone.
Both progesterone and estrogen naturally protect women from sleep apnea. This is a condition that causes your breathing to repeatedly stop and start. When your body produces fewer of these hormones, you are less protected from the condition.
The onset of sleep apnea can lead to severe sleep deprivation. This, in turn, causes fatigue and low energy during waking hours.
Hot Flushes (Vasomotor Symptoms)
Another reason your sleep may be disturbed is the hot flushes you experience during menopause. Hot flushes are when you become inexplicably hot and start to sweat. The hormone fluctuations make it difficult for your body to maintain its core body temperature.
If your body can’t cool itself down for sleeping, it becomes tough to get a comfortable night’s sleep.
What Are the Side Effects of Low Energy?
Difficulty sleeping is a common problem for women during menopause. This can lead to psychological issues such as depression and anxiety.
As many as 20% of women suffer from depression during menopause. The reason for this? Estrogen is thought to impact the levels of serotonin in the brain.
Serotonin is the ‘happy hormone’ that makes you feel relaxed. Lower estrogen levels during menopause mean less serotonin.
Lack of sleep can also cause anxiety and stress. This may make it challenging to go about your day and even affect your memory.
How to Improve Sleep Quality
Want to reduce your chances of low energy? Try to optimize your chances of good sleep. Here’s how:
Eat a Balanced Diet
It may sound obvious, but a balanced diet is the foundation of well-being. If we don’t eat enough of the right foods, we can end up feeling fatigued and low on energy.
Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, a variety of nuts, seeds, grains and pulses. If you eat a rich and varied diet, you will reduce your chances of low energy.
Many women are low on iron throughout their life; this causes fatigue. If you take an iron and B12 supplement, you will increase the levels of these essential nutrients and minerals in your system.
A Vitamin D supplement can also be helpful. During menopause, women can become more at risk of osteoporosis (brittle bones). If you eat enough Vitamin D (found in eggs, milk, cheese, oily fish and fortified foods), or take a supplement, you will avoid deficiency.
Lack of magnesium can also contribute to fatigue. Eat foods rich in magnesium, such as leafy green vegetables.
Some natural supplements can help with the effects of menopause. Ginseng is excellent for helping with sleep, maca for hormonal imbalance and evening primrose oil can help with hot flushes.
Schedule Your Sleep
Bad sleeping patterns can further disrupt your night’s rest. If you go to bed late some days, wake up early on others, your body’s natural rhythm will be disturbed.
Try to go to bed at the same time every day and wake up at the same time. This works wonders for getting in a good rhythm and pattern of sleep. Have some downtime before you sleep. Take a bath, read a book or do another relaxing activity.
Don’t Drink Tea, Coffee or Alcohol Before Bed
Too much caffeine or alcohol can play havoc with your ability to rest. Try not to drink these drinks late in the afternoon. Drink herbal tea in the afternoon rather than coffee.
Sleeping when stressed doesn’t work. If you feel stress, aim to do some practices to counter it. This could be a gentle walk outside, some guided meditation or some breathing exercises. Winding down before sleep can help immensely.
Replace Your Pillow and Mattress
There’s nothing worse than a bad night’s sleep in an uncomfortable bed. To try and maximize the amount of sleep you get, replace your mattress. Choose a pillow that supports your neck and spine.
If you get as comfortable as possible, it should help your ability to sleep.
Speak to Your Doctor
If you are struggling with sleep during menopause, speak to your doctor. They will be able to help you decide what treatment is best for you.
Low energy during menopause is prevalent. But every woman has varied needs. There’s no single solution when it comes to treating symptoms of menopause.
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