Insomnia & Sleep

Perimenopause Sleep Problems? Top 3 Causes Of Insomnia & What You Can Do About It 

insomnia in perimenopause

May 22, 2022

Hi, I’m Angela
I'm a functional medicine practitioner & hormone expert working primarily with women in their 40's and 50's to create lasting health.
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Of all the symptoms of perimenopause, insomnia is one of the most common and frustrating. If you’re struggling to sleep through the night, here are three potential causes — and what you can do about them. 

For women still having regular periods and they’re not actually in menopause yet, they very commonly notice that their sleep is getting lighter and lighter every month. This further continues as they get closer to menopause. Waking up feeling warm and more frequently in the middle of the night worsen the situation. Hot flushes can be a big disruptor to your sleep.

There is no doubt that we want to look at the root cause of this insomnia on top of what’s happening with your sleep at night. We want to understand where this is coming from. What I have found very commonly is that the root of it isn’t what you would think.

What is at the root of Insomnia 

  1. Burdened, toxicated liver

Over many years in our lifetime, we do get exposed to toxins. This is to be expected.Some of us will get exposed to higher amounts of toxins in our body. Even beyond that, some of us have a better capability in our body, even from a genetic standpoint, for filtering these toxins. Often when women have more insomnia, especially during perimenopause, they would think that it has to do with their hormones starting to lower and change. 

However, most commonly it has to do more with the liver being out of balance and highly toxic with its burdened from previous events in our lives. It’s actually causing us to not process our hormones properly either because our estrogen has to be processed in the liver as well. If the liver isn’t processing toxins or estrogen properly, it can lead to problems like insomnia.

What could be done: 

Definitely, one thing that can be done is to identify where this toxic load could be coming from. Perhaps it is from the food we eat, the water we drink, or the air we breathe. Whatever the source may be, once it is identified, steps can be taken to eliminate or reduce exposure to it. 

  1. Too high inflammation levels

I find this happens very commonly when you start to be waking up frequently in the night, especially between the hours of one and four or five in the morning. Often women can go to sleep, but they start to wake up at different times in the night. 

Very commonly inflammation is related to the types of foods that we’re eating. It can be what’s in our diet currently or it can be an accumulation of the types of foods that we’ve eaten over our lifetime that could be causing the inflammation.

There are some obvious foods I would think that you probably already are aware of that could be promoting inflammation. Eating a lot of animal-based products, especially conventional ones, such as red meat, very often will become more proinflammatory. 

What could be done: 

Sometimes we have to start looking again for a solution to this and it can be related to modifying our foods. Starchy foods, sugary foods, meals that are packaged and processed heavily are a few that need to be reduced if not removed. Foods such as these are going to promote more inflammation in the body.

  1. Chronic Stress

Again, we think it’s related to our hormones changing that we are having sleep problems. Oftentimes though, it’s actually related to chronic stress. Let’s say we are under stress during the day and we’re not able to allow our stress to rebalance. Consequently, as we’re getting closer to night and ready for sleep, it will start to cause insomnia.

Or we’ll get to sleep and we’re going to wake up more often in the night. We’ve got things on our mind if we’re under stress. There’s a lot going on in your life. Maybe you’re wearing several hats in your day. I find this is just so common in this time period of life for women. The result of this often is chronic. So we need to be thinking about how to address this.

What could be done: 

We want to be thinking of what we can take off our plate. You need to ask yourself: “Am I doing too much?” Have stress resilience and stress management techniques. Breathing techniques, yoga and meditation: choose what works for you. Exercise more and be consistent.

Furthermore . . .

Solutions around this potentially high toxic burden inflammation and chronic stress are within our reach. One of which is going to be with your food. You want to be eating foods that are more anti-inflammatory versus pro-inflammatory.

We want to be bringing in healthy fats, such as omega3 oils. You can source this from things such as olives and olive oil and avocado oil. These monounsaturated fats are also found in flax seeds, fish and pumpkin seeds. To help us combat inflammation, we need to be eating lots of fruits and vegetables which will also help us with fiber requirements., Balancing our blood sugars which also is very anti-inflammatory.

We all are going to have to a certain degree of the toxic load or burden in our bodies. Some women have more than others.We need to be thinking of first where it could be coming from. It can be coming from so many different areas for women. 

Quite often, it’s related to products we’re putting on our skin or in our hair.We need to be looking at how we can lower the toxic load this way and make sure that the ingredients in the products are clean, organic, and low in toxins. 

Another thing that often we need to be looking at is our source of our water. Make sure that we’re drinking filtered if not purified water. Especially if you’re drinking straight from the tap, you have to be really mindful of this.

There are also environmental toxins. Check if you are bringing in foods that are high in pesticides or herbicides. Are you eating organic or not? Do you have the option to eat foods that are local and not sprayed?

Stress resiliency is going to be an individualized solution as to what’s going to work for you.The first step is just to acknowledge that there is this stress piece that could be contributing to your insomnia.

Sometimes we need to go even further beyond that. That’s where I would help you develop a customized plan based on lab testing. We can do lab testing to look at the burden on your liver, the toxins, the potential bacteria, or other things that could be built up in your body.

Though insomnia during perimenopause can seem like an impossible battle to win, there are many things we can do to make it more manageable. By addressing the root causes of insomnia – such as toxicity, inflammation and stress – and committing to positive lifestyle changes, we can finally get the beauty sleep we deserve. If you’re ready to reclaim your slumber and want some help getting started,  schedule a free discovery call with us today! We would be happy to discuss our personalized sleep solutions that can help you achieve deep, restful sleep once again.

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And if you’re looking for a more natural way to manage your health, you can book a free 45-minute discovery call.

You may also be interested in the free guide to balancing your hormones naturally.

DISCLAIMER:  The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional 

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