I was a solid sleeper until the menopause so when, literally, over night I just stopped being able to sleep, I was dumbfounded.
My first port of call was my GP who diagnosed peri-menopause and put me on Hormone Replacement Therapy. This helped a tiny bit but not wonderfully. However, it got to the point where any little bit of sleep was a bonus.
I also went down the road of prescribed sleeping tablets as trying to manage a full working day without sleep was impossible.
After a year of Hormone Replacement Therapy however, I decided to do my own research to find out what my body would work with. What follows is a list of my own discoveries - I hope they help:
Homoeopathy helped for a while but the effects wore off after my body got used to them. I know Homoeopathy saw a couple of my friends right through their menopausal insomnia so, again, individual differences must be taken into account with this and all treatments.
Hypnotherapy also worked intermittently but had no lasting effects. As a qualified Hypnotherapist myself I even used self-hypnotherapy which, again, sometimes worked, sometimes didn’t.
Importantly, I discovered that if after 30 minutes any relaxation technique hadn’t helped, getting up and having a cup of tea and toast and peanut butter would certainly do the trick.
All the tips on the ‘Nature’s Aids’ page were extremely helpful - especially the extra lux absorption and going without sunglasses when possible as well as the shower 3 hours before bed. These two points alone accounted for 50% better sleep.
I discovered that my sleep patterns stabilised a little more when I came off HRT and discovered a wonderful combination of St John’s Wort and Soy Isoflavones. Please note that St John’s Wort should NEVER be taken if you are already on the ‘pill’ or taking any other form of Hormone Replacement Therapy. I also discovered that the St John’s Wort allayed my anxiety about not sleeping - this was really helpful and I still take it, and the Isoflavones, to this day.
I learned to my financial cost that waivering between medications in the hope that ‘something else will work better’ was just that, a needless waste of money. If you find something that gives you a more stable sleeping pattern, even if it is only 50%, TAKE IT otherwise you will spend a lot more time and money trying to find that elusive 100%.
I learned to make peace with my body and not treat it as an alien or enemy determined to ruin my life! Once I discovered a good balance I didn’t waiver from it. I learned that as my insomnia was brought on by hormonal flux, I would have to let it run its own course. I eventually came to understand that this was something my body was just ‘needing’ (most unhelpfully I might add) to do!
At the end of the day, only you can decide what works best for you. As an example, I knew that Valerian didn’t work for me so I gave up pursuing any Valerian based remedies. Perhaps one of my discoveries may work for you perhaps none of them will but if, after going through this site, you come to an understanding about working with your body (and using what is available to you naturally) and not against it then this little web site has achieved its goal.