6 things to do at night to help your menopause

Eileen Durward

22 March 2021

Today's topic

Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I recommend six things to do at night that can help your menopause.

Last year I did a blog on things to do in the morning to help your menopause, which many women found helpful. So, I thought that I would look at ones that you can do at night because I know these are ones that I use to help me.

1. Take supplements in the evening that are going to help your night-time symptoms

So, if you're taking magnesium to help with sleep, if you're taking sage to help with the night sweats or the evening flushes, then these are best taken with your evening meal.

The reason being is that most tablets will dissolve and be absorbed better with food. If you take tablets just before you go to bed, very often, they're not going to get broken down and absorbed enough and you are not going to get the best benefit from them.

Just a little word of caution though, certain supplements are not advised to take at night because they are energisers.

So, if you're taking a daily vitamin B complex, or kelp, or ginseng, then these should be taken no later than lunchtime. If you take them in the evening, they're going to rev up your nervous system and that can interfere with your sleep.

2. Get organised to avoid less stress the next day

Many women tell me that they wake up in the morning already in a state of anxiety. If you then are worried about what you've got to get ready, what you've got to do, if you've got to get things done before you go to work, if you've got to get yourself organised, that can all compound the anxiety that you may already be feeling.

So, I know, for me, if I try and get things organised at night for the next day, it can make a lot of difference. It can also save time and it might give you an extra 15 minutes in bed, which again, is going to help with your rest and relaxation.

So, it could be things like getting your clothes organised, and ironed, and set out.

Some women tell me that they find it much easier if they get their lunches ready for work in the evening and have them in the fridge waiting to put in a cool bag in the morning. Or even if you have to take things with you, just to get those done.

I have a terrible memory. I tend to forget things for work so what I do is whatever I need to take to work the next day, I will put it in a bag and sit it out the front door so that I don't forget to take it with me.

3. Take time to relax at night

Relaxation and "me" time are vital in menopause. It's one of the things that can be worth its weight in gold, just to have that little bit of extra time without having to do anything. So many women tell me that they're still running around the house at night, maybe 10 or 11 p.m., and then they wonder why they can't sleep.

Your nervous system will still be running on full tilt if you're doing a lot of chores late at night.

So, I know for me, by 7.30 pm, I try and say to myself, "Right, everything's done that needs doing. From now on, it's 'me' time so I can sit, I can relax, I can do a bit of meditation, I can sit and read, watch a bit of TV, maybe catch up with family."

There are lots of nice, relaxing things you can do for a couple of hours before bed. A little bit of night-time yoga, so maybe three or four hours before bed. There are great, very short yoga evening sessions on YouTube that just can help to stretch you, can help to ease your muscles, can help to calm your mind. And that can be of great benefit to help you get off to sleep, too.

4. Avoid a big meal late at night

We know in menopause that your digestion can be affected. It can deteriorate slightly. So, if you're having a big meal in the evening, your digestive system is going to be revved up. Your liver is going to be working overtime. And all of that energy that's needed to digest your food can be enough to either keep you awake or else, it can wake you up maybe between 1:00 and 3:00 in the morning.

So, try to have your evening meal maybe an hour or two earlier than normal or if you can't have it any earlier, then have a smaller meal.

You could try to have your main meal at lunchtime, and then just have a lighter meal at night. Your digestion will thank you for it and you may find that you sleep better, too.

5. Take a shot glass of water before bed

I recommend this regularly, and many women tell me what a difference it's made to their sleep, including not having to get up and go to the toilet during the night because it will help your bladder.

Also, it helps ease aches and pains, and anxiety first thing in the morning. It only needs to be a little shot glass and it's worth trying for a week to see how you get on.

Another thing you can do is have a normal glass of water sitting by your bed for when you wake up in the morning. The quicker you can hydrate your body, the better your body is going to start working in the morning.

That first glass of water can make a difference to the symptoms that you experience for the rest of the day. So again, it's worth trying just as you sit up, feet on the floor, have that drink of water even before you stand up, and it can make a huge difference.

6. Go to bed at the same time

Try and have a routine for going to bed at the same time. I know it's not easy because things come up at night that you may have to do. It may be that on weekends, you stay up a little bit later. But our bodies are creatures of habit. And especially in menopause when so many other things are going on, that if we get out of that routine, it can have an impact on our other symptoms.

So, trying to go to bed at the same time every night can very often help with sleep. I know, for me, I do tend to sit up later at the weekend. And what happens is when I would normally go to bed, I may be sitting in front of the TV thinking, "Oh, I'm a bit tired but I want to watch this program."

And then half an hour later or an hour later, you're quite energised so you just say, "Oh, I'll stay up a little bit later, watch something else." And so, you go to bed that much later but you're not really tired so you've missed that opportunity of maybe two hours of good rest that your body would have had had you gone to bed earlier.

So, I hope you found this helpful. If you try them and they help, then please let me know. If any of you have got other great tips that you've tried that have worked well for you, then please share them.

Key points to take away from this blog:

  • There are lots of simple things you can do in the evening or before bed to ease night-time symptoms and help your daytime symptoms the next day
  • Take supplements to help your night-time symptoms with your evening meal, and take energising ones in the morning or lunchtime at the latest
  • Take time to relax in the evening, avoiding eating too late or large amounts in the evening and get organised for the next day
  • Take a shot glass of water to avoid dehydration during the night and go to bed at the same time every night if you can.

And until next week, take care.

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