Let’s be honest. Between the unpredictable rollercoaster of your female hormones as well as the natural changes in your sleep cycle as you age, fatigue seems to be the name of the game during perimenopause. Here are five tips to combat fatigue in menopause.
1. Exercise Regularly
I know, I know. This one is a pain to hear because we hear this all. the. time. And when your tired, exercise sounds like a terrible idea. But here is why exercise is the number one answer: it boosts energy! The physiology and health benefits behind exercise are incredible. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are 7 reasons why exercise can cure fatigue:
It helps control weight.
Exercise combats health conditions and diseases including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, depression, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and metabolic syndrome.
Exercise improves your mood by releasing certain chemicals in your brain (such as endorphins). These feel-good chemicals boost self-confidence and self-esteem, clear your head, reduce anxiety (hello yet another symptom of perimenopause), and make you feel happier.
It boosts energy! That’s right, it makes you feel like you have more energy because it rapidly delivers oxygen to your tissues and helps your body systems work more efficiently.
Regular exercise helps you fall asleep faster and improves the quality of your sleep. Just don’t exercise before you go to bed as it may make you feel too energized to sleep.
Exercise improves your sex life. Studies suggest that regular physical activity can actually increase arousal in women, which can certainly be a deficit in perimenopause (goodbye libido). Furthermore, exercise also gives you more energy to get busy and can improve your overall confidence in your physical self.
Exercise can be playful and social. It does not have to mean you are running on a treadmill for 30 minutes straight if that isn’t your thing. Do a group yoga class with friends, go hiking with your significant other, play with your dog, or try a ballet class. Instill a little fun into your day-to-day. Your sleep depends on it.
2. Turn Down The Thermostat At Night
If you find yourself waking up every night because of night sweats, you may want to try to prepare your sleep environment before hitting the sack. Turning down the thermostat, nixing the down comforter, placing an ice pack behind your neck, and tossing PJ’s aside just may be the ticket to one less episode of night sweats.
3. Develop Good Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene is essential to a good night’s rest. Along with preparing your sleep environment as mentioned above, here are a few other tips that may help improve your sleep:
Consider putting your phone in another room at night to limit external interruptions.
Stop screen time at least one hour before bed.
Don’t eat heavy meals before bed.
Establish a routine or pre-bed ritual that is consistent every night. Ideas for your routine may include a relaxing shower, reading a book, stretching, meditation, sex, or journaling. Whatever it is, do something to slow your mind and body down to prepare for rest.
Drink plenty of water during the day but limit nighttime consumption so you are not walking to go to the bathroom.
4. Try Supplements
Many women are curious about what to take for menopause fatigue. There are some supplements that have been shown to improve sleep quality by treating sleep issues and menopause symptoms. Melatonin is a hormone in your body that controls your circadian rhythm. Perimenopausal women demonstrate a decrease in this hormone during this transitional period. Therefore, supplementing with melatonin may help restore your circadian rhythm.
Some women find there are herbs that treat menopause fatigue. Black cohosh and valerian are commonly used herbs during menopause as some women find they not only improve sleep but also other menopause symptoms including hot flashes and night sweats.
Related: The 4 Best Sleep Aids For Menopause
5. Busy For Busy’s Sake?
It is important to step back and take a real look at what you are expecting of yourself every day. Today’s society places great emphasis on busyness, stress, and long to-do lists. When you are in a transition period such as perimenopause, it is necessary to be kind to yourself. Identify what is essential for you to accomplish each day and cut out the non-essential. This task alone may help improve your fatigue, mood, sleep, energy, and overall outlook on life as you transition into menopause.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, does not take the place of medical advice from your physician, and is not intended to treat or cure any disease. Patients should see a qualified medical provider for assessment and treatment.