“Sleep difficulties in midlife women are often caused by hot flashes. Strategies to treat sleep disruptions should consider this unique instigating factor”.1

Umbrella
What may the Sleep Management Umbrella include?Sleep Management Sleep Management Sleep Management

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Sleep Hygiene
  • Sleep Management
  • Sleep Routine

Sleep Hygiene

What is sleep hygiene?

DotS the definition of sleep hygiene may vary. In Healthy Sleep Habits the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s definition is:

“The term “sleep hygiene” refers to a series of healthy sleep habits that can improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. These habits are a cornerstone of cognitive behavioral therapy, the most effective long-term treatment for people with chronic insomnia. CBT can help you address the thoughts and behaviors that prevent you from sleeping well. It also includes techniques for stress reduction, relaxation and sleep schedule management”.2

Sleep Hygiene Tips

What are some sleep hygiene tips?

In Sleep Hygiene: How Do You Practice Good Sleep Hygiene? the (United States) Sleep Foundation elaborate on:

  • “Set Your Sleep Schedule…
    • Have A Fixed Wake-Up Time…
    • Prioritize Sleep…
    • Make Gradual Adjustments…
    • Don’t Overdo It With Naps…
  • Follow A Nightly Routine…
    • Keep Your Routine Consistent…
    • Budget 30 Minutes for Winding Down…
    • Dim your Lights…
    • Unplug from Electronics…
    • Test Methods of Relaxation…
    • Don’t Toss and Turn…
  • Cultivate Healthy Daily Habits…
    • Get Daylight Exposure…
    • Be Physically Active
    • Don’t Smoke…
  • Optimize Your Bedroom
    • Have A comfortable Mattress and Pillow…
    • Use Excellent Bedding…
    • Set A Cool Yet Comfortable Temperature…”.3

Bedtime RoutineSleep Management

What is a bedtime routine?

The (United Kingdom) NHS explain:

“If you have difficulty falling asleep, a regular bedtime routine will help you wind down and prepare for bed.

Few people manage to stick to strict bedtime routines. This is not much of a problem for most people, but for people with insomnia, irregular sleeping hours are unhelpful.

Your routine depends on what works for you, but the most important thing is working out a routine and sticking to it”.4

Winding Down

Is winding down important?

In Sleep and Tiredness: How To Get To Sleep – Make Sure You Wind Down the NHS elaborate on:

“Winding down is a critical stage in preparing for bed. There are lots of ways to relax:

  • A warm bath (not hot) will help your body reach a temperature that’s ideal for rest
  • Writing “to do” lists for the next day can organise your thoughts and clear your mind of any distractions
  • Relaxation exercises, such as light yoga stretches, help to relax the muscles. Do not exercise vigorously, as it will have the opposite effect
  • Relaxation CDs work by using a carefully narrated script, gentle hypnotic music and sound effects to relax you
  • Reading a book or listening to the radio relaxes the mind by distracting it…”.5

10 Steps To Achieve Healthy Sleep

What are 10 steps to achieve healthy sleep?

In World Sleep Day® Is March 19, 2021: World Sleep Society Recommends the Following 10 Steps To Achieve Healthy Sleep the World Sleep Society elaborate on:

  1. “Fix a bedtime and an awakening time
  2. If you are in the habit of taking a nap, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep
  3. Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion 4 hours before bedtime and do not smoke
  4. Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate
  5. Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable
  6. Exercise regularly, but not right before bed
  7. Use comfortable bedding
  8. Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated
  9. Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible
  10. Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don’t use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room”.6

Still Awake

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What if I cannot fall asleep?

In Insomnia: What Can I Do To Sleep Better? the Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services include:

  • “If you still cannot sleep after about 15 minutes of getting into bed and turning out the light, get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy”.7

Caffeine

Is there an association between caffeine and sleep?

In Lifestyle: That Afternoon Coffee Jolt – Caffeine Sleep.org note:

“Generally, caffeine lasts for 5 to 6 hours in the body before wearing off. So cut out the coffee after early afternoon so that you can start to wind down in time for bedtime”.8

Food

Is there an association between food and sleep?

In Lifestyle: Snooze Foods & Pick-Me-Ups – Tryptophan Sleep.org explain:

“Tryptophan causes sleepiness. Proteins from the food we eat are the building blocks of tryptophan, which is why the best bedtime snack is one that contains both a carbohydrate and protein such as cereal with milk”.9

Hot Flushes

Is there an association between hot flushes and sleep?

Yes. On page 14 in Women & Sleep: A Guide for Better Health – 07. What Is the Role of Menopause In Sleep Disturbances In Midlife Women? the (United States) Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) note:

  • “Sleep difficulties in midlife women are often caused by hot flashes. Strategies to treat sleep disruptions should consider this unique instigating factor”.10

On page 14 in Women & Sleep: A Guide for Better Health – 07. What Is the Role of Menopause In Sleep Disturbances In Midlife Women? the SWHR also note:

  • “Midlife women have an increased risk of sleep apnea compared to younger women, particularly post-menopause. Midlife women with symptoms of sleep apnea should be screened and appropriately treated”.11

Health Care Provider

What if I would like help with my sleep management?

If you would like help with your sleep management, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. The NAMS note:

Sleep Management
“Any treatment should first focus on improving your sleep routine—use regular hours to sleep each night, avoid getting too warm while sleeping, avoid stimulants such as caffeine and dark chocolate. When lifestyle changes fail to alleviate sleep disturbances, your clinician may want to refer you to a sleep center to rule out sleep-related disorders before initiating prescription treatment. If your sleep disturbance is related solely to hot flashes, hormone therapy may help”.12

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Sleep Management?

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Links

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Society for Women’s Health Research Interdisciplinary Network on Sleep. Women & Sleep: A Guide for Better Health – 07. What Is the Role of Menopause In Sleep Disturbances In Midlife Women? 2017: 14. https://swhr.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/SWHR_Women-Sleep-Guide.pdf Accessed: 14 March 2021
  2. Healthy Sleep Habits. Updated: 09 February 2017. American Academy of Sleep Medicine http://sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/healthy-sleep-habits Accessed: 14 March 2021
  3. Sleep Hygiene: How Do You Practice Good Sleep Hygiene? Updated: 14 August 2020. Sleep Foundation https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/sleep-hygiene Accessed: 14 March 2021
  4. Sleep and Tiredness: How To Get To Sleep. Page Last Reviewed: 22 July 2019. NHS https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/ Accessed: 14 March 2021
  5. Sleep and Tiredness: How To Get To Sleep – Make Sure You Wind Down. Page Last Reviewed: 22 July 2019. NHS https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/#make-sure-you-wind-down Accessed: 14 March 2021
  6. World Sleep Day® Is March 19, 2021: World Sleep Society Recommends the Following 10 Steps To Achieve Healthy Sleep. World Sleep Society https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/#make-sure-you-wind-down Accessed: 14 March 2021
  7. Insomnia: What Can I Do To Sleep Better? Medical Review In 2017. Page Last Updated: 21 November 2018. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services https://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/insomnia.html Accessed: 14 March 2021
  8. Lifestyle: That Afternoon Coffee Jolt – Caffeine. Sleep.org https://www.sleep.org/topic/lifestyle/ Accessed: 14 March 2021
  9. Lifestyle: Snooze Foods & Pick-Me-Ups – Tryptophan. Sleep.org https://www.sleep.org/topic/lifestyle/ Accessed: 14 March 2021
  10. Society for Women’s Health Research Interdisciplinary Network on Sleep. Women & Sleep: A Guide for Better Health – 07. What Is the Role of Menopause In Sleep Disturbances In Midlife Women? 2017: 14. https://swhr.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/SWHR_Women-Sleep-Guide.pdf Accessed: 14 March 2021
  11. Society for Women’s Health Research Interdisciplinary Network on Sleep. Women & Sleep: A Guide for Better Health – 07. What Is the Role of Menopause In Sleep Disturbances In Midlife Women? 2017: 14. https://swhr.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/SWHR_Women-Sleep-Guide.pdf Accessed: 14 March 2021
  12. Menopause FAQs: Menopause Symptoms – Q. I’m having trouble sleeping, and I’m tired all the time. Is this because of menopause? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-menopause-symptoms Accessed: 14 March 2021

Topic Last Updated: 14 March 2021 – Topic Last Reviewed: 14 March 2021
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