We celebrate the fact that there is a World Menopause Day, and are thrilled to have been asked to guest blog for Henpicked, one of our all-time favourite sites.
We’d like to introduce you to Cucumber, a clothing company just for women who find getting hot and sweaty is disturbing their sleep.
We were galvanised into action by the idea that for many women with time, energy and experience on their side, their hormones were decidedly not. A lot of this revolved around sleep, or lack, thereof.
It seemed so counterintuitive that sleep, that most natural element of our daily cycle, should prove so elusive just at the stage when interruptions from teething babies to party-going teenagers should have ended.
And yes, it’s those hormones again. This time in particular those diminishing quantities of progesterone, possible high levels of cortisol and severely fluctuating levels of oestrogen that can unhappily combine to provide an ideal insomnia fest.
Add into the mix the hot flushes that wake you up steaming and leave you wide awake in a miserable, damp pool(s!) of sweat and peaceful sleep becomes a dim and distant memory.
On the positive side, there are things that you can do to help yourself whether or not you decide to go down the HRT route. Here are Cucumber’s five golden rules to try and help menopause sleep problems from turning into chronic insomnia, and yes, the fifth may have something to do with cucumber!
1. Make your bedroom a sleep paradise. Keep your bedroom as cool as possible, about 65C. Turn off all lights and get rid of any electronic buzzing or beeping flashing gadgets. Keep it nice and quiet, closing shutters or curtains, and turning off ticking clocks or any other noise-generating items.
2. Eat early. Try to keep your evening meal as early and as light as possible. Avoid bedtime snacks as acid reflux, heartburn or general digestion can interfere with and delay sleep.
3. Relax. Keep to a regular bedtime routine and try to incorporate a relaxation or meditation practice. This can be as simple as having a soothing bath with delicious sleep inducing oils and a cool compress over the eyes, or a few minutes of quiet chanting or calming yoga stretches. Whatever feels good for you!
4. Mum was right, no smoking or drinking. Keep to healthy practices and ditch the tobacco and alchohol where possible. Tobacco, aside from the obvious nasties, has a stimulant effect. Alcohol may initially help you drift off into a light sleep, but it prevents the body from going into the necessary deep stages of restorative sleep.
5. Cucumber. Keep sweat away from your body. This can be as basic as throwing off the bedsheets, but we recommend wearing Cucumber’s moisture-wicking nightwear. These won’t stop the hot flushes, but will wick any sweat up and away from the body at speed, killing off any odour-creating bacteria at the same time. No more pools of sweat or soaking sheets. They are wash and wear. Just hang to dry (very quick – thanks to its moisture-wicking properties). No iron, no fuss.