Wednesday, April 09, 2008

So I've been hearing that I'm not the only person on the planet who's been having trouble sleeping.

Sheesh. I'm hoping sleeplessness is just a premenopausal thing and that someday soon it will all go away. (Pul-ease...?)

But in the meantime I'll tell you the list of what I must do/not do in order to sleep well, many ideas which I've read here and there. Not that I consistently do all of these! Some days I just say, "Oh phooey. Who needs sleep anyway?," and then go and act like I'm 20 again and eat and do what I feel like. And pay for it. sigh...

But to get a good night's sleep, my list has grown... and grown... and is still growing... and if it helps any of you to sleep better, well, I'll be content (and perhaps sleep a bit better, myself):

Here's what I attempt for a good night's sleep:

1. Avoid chocolate, desserts and caffeine after 11 (or so) in the morning. (I know, I know... like anyone can do that?)
2. Avoid eating a meal within 4 hours of bedtime.
3. Take a calcium, magnesium and zinc pill before bedtime. Also a Vitamin D3 pill. I call them my sleeping pills.
4. Avoid exercising a few hours before sleeping. But exercise and work hard enough--earlier--to make yourself tired.
5. Avoid eating most fruits before retiring for the night.
6. Eat a tiny amount of protein before bed, such as, a bit of peanut butter.
7. Drink a quarter cup of grape juice (or eat a few grapes) a half-hour, or so, before bed. Try to avoid drinking other liquids a couple hours before sleeping.
8. Wear comfortable, cool (or warm) clothing.
9. Leave a window partially open in the bedroom for air for humidity.
10. Make sure the room is completely dark.
11. Run a small fan to block outside noise.
12. Don't go to bed too early. Don't go to bed too late.

Sigh... This is what I mean by becoming more high-maintenance the older I get. And this is just in one area! I have other lists, trust me. :)


Pat said...

Sleeplessness is a premenopausal symptom for sure. For me, that was the worst part of the entire process, but hang in there, it does get better. This ol' body of ours puts us through many paces, doesn't it?!

Olivia said...

Well I do not want to disappoint you but I am post-menopausal at 54 and have huge problems sleeping

martha said...

I'm a pre-menopausal 49. Through trial and error, I too have found these guidelines for better sleep.
If you learn any more, please post them.

Judy said...


Possibly I could make tapes of my husband telling every last detail of the latest weird dream he has had and send those to you.

Puts ME out in no time, and may just cure insomnia for the world.

JWage55Atlanta said...

I have to agree with Olivia. I am 55, post-menopausal since age 53, and I have the lovely issue now of the following: although getting to sleep very well indeed and quickly (after years of NOT being able to do that!) I wake up at 3:00 am and just lie there wide awake. By 5:00 I seem to be able to relax and go to sleep but then it's time to get up at 6:00 or so and I feel very groggy by then. (Practicing all sleep hygiene tips and in bed by 10!) Prescription sleep meds from my endocrinologist, and melatonin, valerian, kava kava, you name it, and tryptophan and 5-HTP all worked at first, but then it took smaller and smaller chopped-up specks of those, and I just felt lousy in the morning. Needs to be natural I think, so I may just go on and get up at 3:00am and do something useful and see if that breaks this ridiculous habit! I suspect it might. Hypothyroid (Hashi's) and probably some adrenal issues do not help either.