Managing sleep problems

Managing sleep problems

Getting your sleep back on track

Body clocks, hormones and sleep
Body clocks link to hormone health and imbalance affects sleep

Sleep problems are very common in many hormone conditions.

Your instincts tell you that if you feel unwell or lethargic you should sleep. While that works when you are recovering from an infection, short illness or operation, it doesn’t work when long term hormone issues affect sleep. In fact too much sleep in the long haul can drive and worsens fatigue. It can mess up your body clock and disruptind sleep quality further.

Over-riding your instincts about sleep is important if your sleep is problematic. Keeping a daily sleep and wake routine and not allowing yourself to sleep excessively is important. Minimisig or avoiding daytime naps are also important steps to getting your sleep back on track.

Here are some practical tips on improving sleep from the sleep foundation website.
There is an excellent online programme that can be used as a clinical treatment (CBT for sleep) that is available through the NHS in some regions called Sleepio.

Here is a nice article written by the Mayo Clinic on the impact of lack of sleep

There is a very good book that explains a lot about sleep called “Why we sleep” by Matthew Walker if you want to read more widely about this topic.

Home truths about sleep

Quality sleep is essential for maintaining your well-being. When our health is good and life is busy it’s easy to neglect your sleep routine. But when health issues such as stress, illness or major life events arrive, and your sleep patterns are erratic, your energy levels can plummet. The key to restful sleep is not complicated but it can take a long time to re-establish if poor sleep patterns have been present for a long time.

Start with regular bedtime routine, dim the lights, have a warm shower or bath, use aromatherapy/scented candles, de-clutter the bedroom and remove electronic devices from the zone!

Don’t call a friend or relative or have an important conversation just before you turn in or your mind will be far too active for sleep. Instead listen to relaxing music. Avoid caffeine (in coca cola, coffee or tea, energy drinks) for at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.

Don’t drink excessive fluids (or alcohol) before bed as you are more likely to need to empty your bladder overnight if you do.

Try to relax and empty your mind in the hour before you turn your lights out.

Keep it going…

If you follow these strategies for a couple of days and they don’t work, keep going…Rome was not built in a day… poor sleep habits can take weeks or months to reverse.

Only allow yourself 8 to 9 hours sleep if possible. Waking unrefreshed is not a free licence to sleep longer. Excessive sleep is toxic. It does not result in less fatigue and often causes rebound insomnia and further sleep disruption in a vicious cycle.

Don’t rely on sleeping tablets and pain killers because they do not produce restful sleep they just cause dependence, side effects and more problems along the line.

Consider simple adjustments like earplugs if your partner snores and blackout blinds in summer so you don’t wake at 4.30 am with the Dawn Chorus and Sunrise!

Hormone Facts & Information