A compassionate approach to poor sleep during the perimenopause

Many women going through the perimenopause (or menopausal transition) experience disturbed sleep. It’s one, if not the, core symptom of this period. According to research, up to 60% of menopausal women suffer from poor sleep – which also has a knock-on effect on their family, work and social lives. 

Adopting a compassionate attitude, i.e. taking a moment to respectfully observe yourself struggling with the aim to support yourself, can help to alleviate poor sleep and its daytime consequences.

Is your inner critic giving you a hard time for not sleeping well?

When we make a mistake, we often blame and point the finger at ourselves for what we perceive as a major personal short-coming. Within seconds our mind starts to beat us up, wielding an invisible measurement stick and complaining that “You should have done this better, you are simply not good enough! Who will like you? You are a failure!” And these might be some of the ‘nicer’ thoughts that your mind hurls at you. But even when we are not making mistakes, our critical mind, the inner bully, is constantly evaluating what we are doing and how well we are doing it.

Bedtime procrastination – why bedtimes are different to bodytimes

Bedtime procrastination means that people don’t go to bed and sleep ‘on time’ although there is nothing preventing them from doing so. It’s an intention-behaviour gap. They intend to go to bed but then stay up for another while. What’s the big deal you might ask? Well, less opportunity to sleep and therefore more sleep deprivation and tiredness the next day at work.

A holistic approach based on science

I blend evidence-based practices in my approach. The result is a combination of sleep science and chronobiology with Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT), Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT), and mindfulness. In this post I explain what they are about.

Do this when you wake up at 3am

It’s normal to wake up during the night, we all do it several times. Usually we don’t remember them because not only are they short, we also just roll over and slip back into sleep.

However, when you find yourself lying in bed around 3am or the witching hour, as some call it, unable to get back to sleep, quiet quickly your mind starts to get busy with thinking. Racing from one thought to the next with no end in sight, your mind can feel like washing machine stuck in the spinning cycle. Then there is this strong feeling of anxiety in your tummy or chest that suddenly pings up. Your heart is pounding loud and fast. You can’t stop tossing and turning wishing to be anywhere but here in your bed. 

Can poor sleep make you feel lonely?

In this article I explore the relationship between poor sleep, social isolation and loneliness, its potential causes, and give some pointers on how to improve the situation starting with sleep (naturally).  

Buy the book

Want to make sense of sleep?

I wrote Sleep Sense to share my fascination with sleep with all of you. To help you understand why sleep is important for every single one of us. My aim is to empower you to take steps that are right for you to sleep well.

What Somnia is sharing

💤 💙 Make your bed(room) somewhere you want to be, somewhere you look forward to going and winding down and sleeping. 💙💤This might mean candles, complete darkness, pillow spray, your favourite book, a tidy space, your favourite smells or things around you. It's personal and can make a real impact on your relationship with the idea of going to sleep.What does your bedroom look like or help you feel like? #sleeptherapy #bedroom #winddown #sleeproutine #sleeptips #goodnightssleep #goodnightsleep #sleepwell #sleepunique #sleephealth #healthandwellbeing #healthandwellness #wellness #wellbeing #SleepCycle #healthyroutine #selfcare #selfcareroutine #healthyhabits ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago  ·  

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