When I started experiencing insomnia in my mid-forties, little did I know that it was a pre-menopausal symptom.  At the time, I attributed the insomnia to my job, more directly to my boss.  Even after I discarded the boss, a good night’s sleep was out of my reach. 

My doctor suggested long, warm baths and chamomile tea before bedtime.  That remedy only made me feel like a prune and activated my pea-size bladder in the middle of the night. So much for uninterrupted sleep. 

Searching the Internet, I found several “tips” like:

  • Do not nap during the day. (For those women still working, napping is only a dream.)
  • Exercise daily but be sure to avoid vigorous exercise three hours or less before bedtime. (Practice for the marathon only on weekend mornings.)
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine throughout the day. (Didn’t apply to me since I don’t smoke, don’t drink beverages laced with caffeine and rarely drink alcohol.)
  • Keep your bedroom cool to prevent night sweats. (I never had night sweats.)
  • Do not go to bed until you are tired. (Really?)
  • Take a warm bath or shower before bedtime. (Been there, done that.)
  • Do not watch TV, eat or read in bed. (Reading in bed is the one thing that does help me sleep.)
  • Follow the same bedtime routine each night. (Yeah. Unplug the phone so your kids or elderly parents can’t bother you.)

I swear that these “tips” were NOT written by menopausal women.

Seeking more relief, I tried over-the-counter sleep aids which helped for awhile, but the ones marketed for estrogen-deprived women kept me awake! I also tried hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which made me nauseated all day. I actually thought I might be pregnant at age 55!

Finally, my doctor prescribed a pill that did the trick and which I still take 20 years later.  Of course, I have read all the literature about this pill possibly contributing to memory loss but, let me tell you, when I was getting only four hours or less sleep a night, I could not function on any level.

Unfortunately, ladies, we are on our own when dealing with menopause-induced insomnia.  Sometimes, prayer may be the only answer!  

Published by Another Sufferer

I am a woman over 65 who has experienced the many changes that happen to a woman's body and mind as they get older. I started this blog in order to share information and experiences.

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