When we sleep, our body and mind recovers. But sometimes we struggle to get enough hours or to have a good rest. So, why is sleep so important?
To answer this question it is important to understand what sleep is. Despite being something complex, it can be summarised as (Jawabri, 2022):
- Sleep is a status where the consciousness decreases. Our brain starts a maintenance period.
- So, while we sleep our brain’s chemical substances change while the lost ones during the day recover.
- Furthermore, during that period memory and learning are consolidated.
- Sleeping allows for recuperation of important systems like the cardiac vascular system.
So, when we don’t have adequate rest, we debilitate the recuperation of our bodies.
It can be understood as a balance between the quality and the sleeping time, that allows us to make all the maintenance that our body needs (Kohyama, 2021).
Here, you are going to find the importance of a good rest, the different factors that may affect it, its benefits and more!
The importance of a good rest during menopause
Menopause is a changing period, where many discomforts and symptoms of this life phase may arouse (Pien, 2021). These can affect our sleep quality (Baker, 2018).
Which factors debilitate sleep during menopause?
The first step to achieving good rest during menopause is to know the different factors that can make it more difficult to fall or stay asleep. Some of the most important are (Smith, 2018):
- Excessive heat or nocturnal sweating, even if they don’t wake you up.
- Sleep disorders like insomnia can appear before and during menopause.
- Furthermore, emotional alterations like depression can happen during menopause and affect deeply sleep quality.
- Smoking or ingesting alcohol close to sleeping hours.
Benefits of good rest during menopause
A good night’s rest has benefits that are very important during menopause. Some of them are (Ellins, 2021; NIH, 2022):
- Reduce the risk of heart diseases and diabetes mellitus.
- Contributes to reducing stress and emotional changes.
- Prevents confusion and brain fog.
- Allows to think clearly and make better decisions at work or in your social life.
How to get a good sleep?
There are many ways to improve sleep quality that you can try and take advantage of, even during menopause (NIH, 2022; Mayo Clinic Staff, 2022):
- Set up a schedule to sleep and try to follow it. Avoid long-duration naps.
- Avoid tobacco and if you consume alcohol, do it in moderation.
- A balanced diet is important, but it is also important to eat at the right time.
- Avoid heavy foods close to going to bed.
- At night, try to avoid drinks or foods that contain caffeine or high sugar levels (like sodas).
- There are a lot of benefits of exercising, stay motivated and in shape and try not to do it close to your sleeping hours.
Now that you know the importance of a good rest and how it contributes to achieving a healthy life during menopause, we encourage you to incorporate the tips and practices mentioned above.
Baker, F. C., Lampio, L., Saaresranta, T., & Polo-Kantola, P. (2018). Sleep and Sleep Disorders in the Menopausal Transition. Sleep medicine clinics, 13(3), 443–456. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsmc.2018.04.011
Bilodeau, K. (2021). Sleep, stress, or hormones? brain fog during perimenopause. Harvard Health. Retrieved from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sleep-stress-or-hormones-brain-fog-during-perimenopause-202104092429
Ellis, R. R. (2021). 7 surprising health benefits to getting more sleep. WebMD. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/benefits-sleep-more
Jawabri, K. H., & Raja, A. (2022). Physiology, Sleep Patterns. En StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551680/
Kohyama J. (2021). Which Is More Important for Health: Sleep Quantity or Sleep Quality?. Children (Basel, Switzerland), 8(7), 542. https://doi.org/10.3390/children8070542
NIH. (2022). Get enough sleep. Get Enough Sleep – MyHealthfinder. Retrieved from: https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/healthy-living/mental-health-and-relationships/get-enough-sleep
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2022). 6 steps to better sleep. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from: https://www-mayoclinic-org.translate.goog/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=es&_x_tr_hl=es
Smith, R. L., Flaws, J. A., & Mahoney, M. M. (2018). Factors associated with poor sleep during menopause: results from the Midlife Women’s Health Study. Sleep medicine, 45, 98–105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2018.01.012
Pien, G. W. (2021). How does menopause affect my sleep? Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/how-does-menopause-affect-my-sleep