An often overlooked symptom of menopause is its effect on our quality of sleep. Continuous disruption in our sleep cycle during the night causes irritability, depression and forgetfulness.
A myriad of factors that impact sleep as we age includes our sleeping environment; physical pain or medical conditions from arthritis; nighttime heartburn; frequent urination and diabetes; hot flashes and night sweats; side-effects from medication; lack of exercise; stress and snoring or sleep apnea. Insufficient sleep is considered to be less than 6-7 hours, contributes to serious health issues including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weight gain and breast cancer.
So how do you sleep better?
Below are strategies for improving the quality of your sleep as you transition through menopause. Place your cursor over an image to learn more.
Lifestyle adjustments that lead to healthier habits at bedtime can help you get the quality sleep needed to avoid additional health issues.
Purple Power Smoothie
The cherries in this recipe, combined with blueberries, provide a great blend of antioxidants that can keep inflammation down and promote recovery after exercise. Using sweet cherries, the anthocyanins and quercetin may help combat cancer. Using tart cherries, may result in a more restful sleep due to the melatonin.
Recipe origin: Kelly Jones, M.S., R.D., @ kellyjonesnutrition.com
- 1/2 C frozen cherries (I get Cascadian Farm brand in bulk at BJ’s)
- 1/2 C frozen wild blueberries
- 1/2 C frozen sliced peaches (can sub mango)
- 1 C packed spring mix
- 1 C milk or unsweetened non-dairy milk (I like Silk brand cashew or almond)
- 1 scoop garden of life original raw protein or
- 1 C siggi’s (plain yogurt or plain greek yogurt)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract + milk or water as needed for blending
- Add all ingredients to whatever blending tool you have whether it be a fancy vitamix, kitchen aid blender or tiny magic bullet.
- Tip: If using bullet type blenders, for best consistency and easiest blend, put fruit in first, topped with yogurt or protein, then greens and milk/liquid.
- Pulse until smooth and enjoy!