I wrote about sleep disorders due to menopause back in 2015, and on rereading that post, I realized some things have actually changed in the past 6 years.
Summer nights are the worst. When the night temperatures come above twelve or thirteen degrees Celsius, and the day temperatures have been roundabout twenty or more, the house is warm. And it stays warm. Those nights are sweaty ones — wet ones, and not in a good way.
Those are also the nights I wake up the most, mostly with a film of sweat covering my body. I throw off the duvet cover, and mostly wake up again ten minutes later because I am cold. I have never been able to sleep without something over me, something heavier, not only a sheet. After having cooled down, I fall asleep, only to be awake again an hour or maybe two hours later, all sweaty again.
Thankfully, winter nights are a lot better. I love crawling under the flannel-covered duvet, and when the temperatures go towards zero degrees, I also get into bed with a full pajama and socks. Somewhere during the night I lose all of those, waking up naked the next morning, but I need to be warm to fall asleep.
During winter nights, I mostly only wake up once, because I have to pee. That’s mostly the moment when I take off my pajama, and crawl back under the covers to sleep for the rest of the night.
What I described above are my ‘normal’ sleeping pattern in warmer and colder temperatures. But, in stressful times, my sleep is all over the place, as it currently is. Stress keeps me awake, keeps me rolling from one side to the other. It makes me stare at the ceiling at night, and wonder when sleep will take me. Sometimes I only fall asleep in the wee hours of the morning, leaving me exhausted for most of the day.
But, that has nothing to do with menopause, although the combination of stress and menopause is not a good one!
I used to take L-tryptophan. Before I started taking that, I took melatonin, but after about a month, I realized it didn’t help me to sleep. One day I went to a health store and asked the lady what else I could take to sleep better. She suggested L-tryptophan, which activates the natural melatonin in ones brain.
I tried it, and it worked!
About four months ago, I took the last tablet I had, and decided to see whether I can do without it. However, it was summer, and there was no way I could know whether I need the tablets again, as the warmer temperatures had me waking up anyway.
It’s only when I started writing this, that I realized I fall asleep as easy as I did before menopause, and I might not need the L-tryptophan anymore.
I love to sleep!
I have always loved to sleep, and I still do. I am not ashamed to say that on days I don’t have to work, I frequently only get out of bed between 10 and 11 in the morning. However, on the nights before those days, I mostly go to bed later than I do on a ‘school night’, so effectively I still just sleep eight hours. I am more a night person than a morning one.
One thing I only do when I am not well, is afternoon naps. No matter how much I love sleep, afternoon naps leave me feeling cranky and cold. I prefer to just go about my day, and when I am tired go to bed a bit earlier than usual, or just enjoy my evening and then a good night’s sleep… if menopause and stress allow me that!
© Rebel’s Notes
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