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Sleep Matters: 10 essential tips to prioritise quality sleep for healthy ageing

Sleep Matters: 10 essential tips to prioritise quality sleep for healthy ageingSLEEP is a huge issue for women in perimenopause and post the menopoause. My poll, a while back, on my Instagram account agrees. I doubt most women and their partners would argue with that.

I expect you use search engines for answers. I love using Google, it's a fantastic search engine. I've discovered so much useful information and I'd definitely be lost without it. I'd hate to go back to when I was a young adult and Google wasn't even a twinkle in some creator's eye.

When I typed in a Google search on sleep, perimenopause and menopause. Looking at the search results even I was overwhelmed with the bombardment of sleep issues during this time in our lives. 

What I'm concerned about is there was a plethora of information on the subject. From the 

  • best sleeping pills for menopause
  • sleep difficulties 
  • insomnia in perimenopause 
  • perimenopause, menopause and anxiety
  • what organ is cleansing at 2am
  • can perimenopause affect sleep
  • sleep treatments
  • perimeopause insomnia natural remedies
  • and the rest...

Is it any wonder women, in the throes of symptoms, at any stage of the menopause, are overwhelmed as they desperately search for answers. The Google information from an online search is all encompassing, as its aim (I think from using it) is to show you as much information on the subject in an effort for you to find the solution you need to your problem. If it's helping you great, but if this leaves you experimenting with every solution under the sun with no or little change, or being overwhelmed then, not so helpful. 

What hampers sleep

Sleep is a cornerstone of health. Yet, there are many reasons your sleep time can get disrupted. We look at twelve areas in this blog. 


If your sleep unrest is bothering you check in with your doctor to ensure there isn’t a medical reason at the root of the issue (e.g. insomnia, sleep apnoea).

Depending on the illness, the symptoms, and/or the medications you have take in order to keep you well may keep you awake at night. It is important to speak to your medical provider to see how they can help you achieve a restful night's sleep. They may have alternatives for you to try or offer other solutions if creating an environment for restful sleep isn't enough. Don't stop medication unless on the advice of your medical practitioner. 

  • Gut Issues:
    Food intolerances and gut health issues may keep you awake at night, as well as causing issues around food intake to absorption of nutrients.
    You may have food issues or gut issues that keep you awake at night. 


  • Sleep Disorders:

    There are many sleep disorders but 4 main ones are restless leg syndrome, sleep apnoea, nightmares and insomnia. If you have regular sleep issues and nutrition and lifestyle changes aren't working effectively then it is important to check with your medical team to see if they can ascertain a sleep disorder that may be the cause. 

Seek help for medical concerns

Shift work: 

This can totally messes with your circadian rhythm and will affect your sleep pattern if you aren't managing your nutrition and lifestyle adequately. 

Be smart with your nutrition for restful sleep: 

Use it as tool for sleep. There is no point going through the day feasting on sugary foods with limited protein, missing healthy fats and not eating enough to nourish and sate you, and then expecting to sleep. Eat well for you and you’ll discover other benefits way beyond the land of ZZZs.

The following may disrupt your sleep so best avoided late in the day

  • heavy meals later than 3-4 hours before bed
  • excess caffeine, especially after midday 
  • fizzy drinks and spicy foods
Foods that promote a restful night's sleep
It's important to ensure you eat sufficiently for your needs, while ensuring that your blood sugar is balanced and doesn't have lots of peaks and troughs during the day. Throughout the day eat of leafy greens, nuts, seeds, cherries, almonds bananas to promote relaxation and better sleep quality

Herbal teas
I prefer to use teas for relaxation, look out for brands you love. There is a Tulsi tea, it lowers cortisol. Ensure you can take this one if you're on medications. I don't like it myself. It certainly knocks me out 

Anxiety / Stress 

If you retire to bed anxious your mind is no doubt racing and as your mind is whirling around the issues and trying to find solutions this will hamper your menopausal sleep. As we are prone to anxiety and easily affected by stress then tools to manage your responses are necessary. Breathwork, journalling, mindful practices, restorative yoga, listening to calming music. The Official World Sleep Day Music Playlist 2024 has a lovely selection of tracks that may help you drop into a peaceful slumber. 


Yes regular exercise helps with sleep. It's important to be mindful of the intensity and timing. If too near your bedtime it can disrupt your sleep. Speak to a fitness trainer to ensure yours are not hampering your bedtime snooze. 

Movement is vitally important for everyone but so much more in midlife and beyond. Think cardio, strength and resistance. Join a gym, walk, learn to run again, Use learn to lift weights. It’s great to be active, strong and healthy whatever you choose. But do it early in the day. If you want to exercise think of slow, relaxting movement, aim to do a relaxing activity such as restorative yoga session. 

Life Stages & Life Changes:

There are plenty of life stages, whether it is moving house, getting married, being in peri-menopause, menopausal, selling your home and building a new one, living with relatives when you'd much prefer your own space, ill, giving birth, dealing with the loss of a loved one, dealing with a health pandemic... all these will affect our sleep. Whether it is the worry, the loss, the hassles etc. In order to function at your best sufficient sleep has to be a priority at these times. 


Alot of what I've written could be added here. It's all about creating a sleep friendly environment that encourages a restful sleep. Other tips in this section include ensuring your bedroom is clutter free, switch off electrical devices an hour and half before bedtime, do relaxating activities, like take a bath. Life is around you but when sleep is nearing at the end of the night have you a routine that helps you make a space between the rush of life and create a relaxing atmosphere to help you sleep. 

  • Prioritise sleep:
    Get into a sleep routine that includes relaxing practices such as taking a warm bath with Magnesium salts, light reading or stretching. Introduce a digital free zone at least an hour before bed (that means no phones, no TV, no laptops or computer tablets), so as not to disrupt melatonin production (the sleep hormone). A light snack such as an oatcake with almond butter may help to support undisturbed sleep.

  • Use Apps & Read Books
    An app such as Calm to help you sleep better. It has stories, meditations, breathing exercises. Depending on what you need, there is even a sleep course on the app. Read books on sleep such as Matthew Walker's "Why We sleep". 

  • Breathe into sleep.
    You can always just breath, simply take long deep breaths at your pace while ensuring that the out breath is longer than the in breath. This signals to your brain that you want to relax. Check out the Box breathing method, it is the simplest and regulates your breathing when stressed 

  • Notebook & Pen
    If your mind races at night leave a pen and notebook on your bedside locker and write down any worries or thoughts that are preventing you falling or staying asleep.

  • Supplement
    Get tested for nutrient deficiencies, it’ll help you target your supplementation. Good options for sleep are L-theanine, L-theanine & lemon balm, magnesium. Best to seek medical advice on these and especially if you take medication. Magnesium salt flakes are useful for relaxation and can be used in a bath or just a simple foot soak. There are magnesium sprays too. Lots of options just be sure you get expert advice before buying.


Whether it is in coffee, teas, chocolate or whatever you have to keep a check on your intake. Know your limits, not your husband's or best friend's limits. You may only be able to take one cup of coffee or 1 piece of chocolate when they can eat whatever they want and as late as they want. Work to your limits. 


Again like coffee and sugar this can affect your sleep. It is vital to know your stats/limits. How much, how often and how late works for you. That's of course if you drink alcohol.


When in perimenopause or post, at night, sleep may elude you. The menopause transition (perimenopause) may leave you with aches and pains, night sweats, insomnia, palpitations to name a few of the symptoms.

Night sweats are a nuisance as you can wake drenched, including your pjs, sheets and pillows? You more than likely have to get up from your slumber, with a jaded head to change pjs and bedclothes just so you can get back to sleep. 

Insomnia could result in going to watch TV and end up watching movies or eating due to lack of sleep. Next morning you are knackered and dragging yourself into the day tired, groggy and an endless to-do list for everyone else. All the while you're at the bottom of this to-do list. Or if awake, end up on your phone googling menopause symptoms and solutions, such as looking for a symptom checker or how long do you have to endure this. 

Along with your hormones in chaos a sleep disorder may be the problem, it's best to sort any medical issues with your medical team as they could be the major cause of your sleepless nights. 


This can be a result of a medical condition but there are times like broken bones, the aches and pains of menopause, burning gut issues, muscle loss during menopause does cause pain. Find the source of the pain and get help to resolve it or manage it so you improve your sleep to have the best quality sleep possible 

Do any of these resonate with you? I'm running a masterclass on sleep highlighting secrets to a good night's sleep. If you want to deep dive more into sleep. 

It’s not enough to sleep for 7-8 hours, it must be restorative quality sleep. You should wake refreshed and ready to have an amazing day. Here are 7 tips that may help you do so.  

Take stock 

Your sleep habits are individual to you. As a starting point make some free time to to take stock of where you are at. There are apps to check your sleep quality, use them as an aid to determine your top priorities to tackle that will quickly help you sleep better. If you need to see a medical practitioner to rule out or deal with sleep disorders set that in train too. 

Want a helping hand?

When you work with me we can delve deeper by carrying out a sleep audit and then helping you create an environment conducive to sleep.  

  • Winding down to sleep
  • How to pinpoint the nutrition loophole robbing you of energy that is hampering your steps to thrive in midlife and beyond.

Grab my Essentials, 1:1, one hour session to get quick, actionable tips and answers to your creating sleep habits and an environment to encourage a better night's sleep.

Looking forward to helping you nod off with ease. 

Love, Marian x

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